Skip to main content

We're fighting for the future of our library in court. Show your support now!

Full text of "The Burgess bird book for children"

See other formats

3 1822005454434 




Central University Library 

University of California, San Diego 

Please Note: This item is subject to recall 
after two weeks. 

Date Due 


MAY $> mf 


INT (j 

MAR 2 1 19S1 

IWR 061997 

WVif-n b*. 


r^ / 

Cl 39(1/90) UCSDLib. 

. ' 






































CREAKER THE PURPLE CRACKLE. At a distance he appears black 
and is called Crow Blackbird. 

THE MALE COWBIRD. You may know him by his coffee-brown head. 







Copyright, 1919, 

All rights reserved 
Published, October, 1819 

STortBaatJ ftim 
Set up and etotrotppcd by J. S. Cushbg Co., Norwood, Mws., U.S.A. 






THIS book was written to supply a definite need. 
Its preparation was undertaken at the urgent 
request of booksellers and others who have felt the 
lack of a satisfactory medium of introduction to 
bird life for little children. As such, and in no 
sense whatever as a competitor with the many 
excellent books on this subject, but rather to sup- 
plement these, this volume has been written. 

Its primary purpose is to interest the little child 
in, and to make him acquainted with, those 
feathered friends he is most likely to see. Because 
there is no method of approach to the child mind 
equal to the story, this method of conveying in- 
formation has been adopted. So far as I am 
aware the book is unique in this respect. In its 
preparation an earnest effort has been made to 
present as far as possible the important facts 
regarding the appearance, habits and character- 
istics of our feathered neighbors. It is intended to 
be at once a story book and an authoritative hand- 
book. While it is intended for little children, it 
is hoped that children of larger growth may find 
in it much of both interest and helpfulness. 

Mr. Louis Agassiz Fuertes, artist and naturalist, 


has marvelously supplemented such value as may 
lie in the text by his wonderful drawings in full 
color. They were made especially for this volume 
and are so accurate, so true to life, that study of 
them will enable any one to identify the species 
shown. I am greatly indebted to Mr. Fuertes for 
his cooperation in the endeavor to make this book 
of real assistance to the beginner in the study of 
our native birds. 

It is offered to the reader without apologies of 
any sort. It was written as a labor of love love 
for little children and love for the birds. If as a 
result of it even a few children are led to a keener 
interest in and better understanding of our 
feathered friends, its purpose will have been ac- 


[ viii ] 



PREFACE . . . . . " . . vii 

I JENNY WREN ARRIVES . ... , . . . 1 

Introducing the House Wren. 

The English or House Sparrow. 



The Song, White-throated and Fox Sparrows. 

The Chipping, Vesper and Tree Sparrows. 



The Bluebird and the Robin. 

The Phoebe and the Least Flycatcher. 


The Kingbird and the Great Crested Flycatcher. 
The Wood Pewee and Some Nesting Places. 

IX LONGBILL AND TEETER . , . . . . 61 

The Woodcock and the Spotted Sandpiper, 



The Red-winged Blackbird and the Golden- 
winged Flicker. 

The Downy, Hairy and Red-headed Wood- 

The Cowbird and the Baltimore Oriole. 

The Orchard Oriole and the Bobolink. 

The So-called Quail and the Meadow Lark. 


The Tree Swallow and the Chimney Swift. 

The Purple Martin and the Barn Swallow. 
XVII MORE ROBBERS . . . . .120 

The Crow and the Blue Jay. 


The Crow, the Oven Bird and the Redtailed 
Hawk. | j 


BLACK 136 

The Ruffed Grouse and the Crow Blackbird. 


The Osprey and the Bald-headed Eagle. ' 


The Great Blue Heron and the Kingfisher. t1 



The Bank Swallow, the Kingfisher and the 
Sparrow Hawk. 

XXIII SOME BIG MOUTHS . . S . . . 168 
The Nighthawk, the Whip-poor-will and 


The Redstart and the Yellow Warbler. , , 

The Black and White Warbler, the Mary- 
land Yellow-Throat and the Yellow- 
breasted Chat. 

The Parula, Myrtle and Magnolia War- 

The Cardinal and the Catbird. 



The Rose-breasted Grosbeak and the Scar- 
let Tanager. 

The Red-eyed, Warbling and Yellow- 
throated Vireos. 

The Brown Thrasher and the Mockingbird. 

XXXI VOICES OF THE DUSK . "~ . . .229 
The Wood, Hermit and Wilson's Thrushes, 













The Towhee and the Indigo Bunting. 

The Purple Linnet and the Goldfinch. 

The Mourning Dove and the Yellow-billed 

The Shrike and the Ruby-throated Hum- 

The English Starling and the Cedar Wax- 

The Chickadee. 

The Canada Goose and the Loon. 

The White-breasted Nuthatch and the 
Brown Creeper. 

The Tree Sparrow and the Junco. 

The Snow Bunting and the Horned Lark. 

The Screech Owl. 




The Ruffed Grouse and the Crossbills. 


The Pine Grosbeak and the Redpoll. 



The Goshawk and the Great Horned Owl. 

INDEX 343 



Creaker the Purple Grackle, and the Male 

Cowbird ...... Frontispiece 


Jenny Wren 6 

Bully the English Sparrow 6 

Chippy the Chipping Sparrow 6 

Sweet Voice the Vesper Sparrow 16 

Little Friend the Song Sparrow 16 

Dotty the Tree Sparrow 26 

Slaty the Junco 26 

Welcome Robin 36 

Winsome Blue Bird 36 

Chebec the Least Flycatcher 44 

Dear Me the Phoebe 44 

Scrapper the Kingbird 50 

Redeye the Vireo 50 

Longbill the Woodcock . . . . . . 62 

Bob White 62 

Redwing the Blackbird 70 

Speckles the Starling 70 

Yellow Wing the Flicker 74 

Redhead the Woodpecker 80 

Downy the Woodpecker 80 

Goldie the Baltimore Oriole 88 

Sammy Jay 88 

Bubbling Bob the Bobolink 94 


List of Illustrations 


Carol the Meadow Lark 100 

Skimmer the Tree Swallow 114 

Forktail the Barn Swallow 114 

Redtail the Hawk 134 

Strutter the Ruffed Grouse . * . . < . . .140 

King Eagle 148 

Plunger the Osprey . . . . . . .148 

Rattles the Kingfisher . . ... . .156 

Teeter the Spotted Sandpiper 156 

Longlegs the Great Blue Heron 156 

Boomer the Nighthawk 170 

Sunshine the Yellow Warbler 176 

Zee-Zee the Redstart 176 

Seep-Seep the Brown Creeper 176 

Glory the Cardinal 200 

Kitty the Catbird 200 

Redcoat the Scarlet Tanager 210 

Rosebreast the Grosbeak . . ... . .210 

Brownie the Thrasher 222 

Chewink the Towhee 222 

Melody the Wood Thrush 230 

Teacher the Oven Bird 230 

Chicoree the Goldfinch 248 

Hummer the Ruby-throated Hummingbird . . . 248 

Mourner the Dove 256 

Butcher the Northern Shrike 264 

Snipper the Crossbill 264 

Dandy the Cedar Waxwing (Cherry Bird) . . .272 

Tommy Tit the Chickadee 280 

Yank-Yank the White-Breasted Nuthatch . . .280 
Snowflake the Snow Bunting . . . . .308 

Wanderer the Horned Lark 308 

Spooky the Screech Owl . . . ' . . .318 

xvi ] 





' LIPPERTY-LIPPERTY-LIP scampered Peter Rabbit 
behind the tumble-down stone wall along one side 
of the Old Orchard. It was early in the morning, 
very early in the morning. In fact, jolly, bright 
Mr. Sun had hardly begun his daily climb up in 
the blue, blue sky. It was nothing unusual for 
Peter to see jolly Mr. Sun get up in the morning. 
It would be more unusual for Peter not to see him, 
for you know Peter is a great hand to stay out all 
night and not go back to the dear Old Briar-patch, 
where his home is, until the hour when most folks 
are just getting out of bed. 

Peter had been out all night this time, but he 
wasn't sleepy, not the least teeny, weeny bit. 
You see, sweet Mistress Spring had arrived, and 
there was so much happening on every side, and 
Peter was so afraid he would miss something, that 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

he wouldn't have slept at all if he could have 
helped it. Peter had come over to the Old Or- 
chard so early this morning to see if there had 
been any new arrivals the day before. i 

"Birds are funny creatures," said Peter, as he 
hopped over a low place in the old stone wall and 
was fairly in the Old Orchard. 

"Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut!" cried a rather sharp, 
scolding voice. "Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut! You 
don't know what you are talking about, Peter 
Rabbit. They are not funny creatures at all. 
They are the most sensible folks in all the wide 

Peter cut a long hop short right in the middle, 
to sit up with shining eyes. "Oh, Jenny Wren, 
I'm so glad to see you ! When did you arrive ? " 
he cried. 

"Mr. Wren and I have just arrived, and thank 
goodness we are here at last," replied Jenny Wren, 
fussing about, as only she can, in a branch above 
Peter. "I never was more thankful in my life to 
see a place than I am right this minute to see the 
Old Orchard once more. It seems ages and ages 
since we left it." 

"Well, if you are so fond of it what did you 

leave it for?" demanded Peter. "It is just as 

I said before you birds are funny creatures. 

You never stay put; at least a lot of you don't. 


Jenny Wren Arrives 

Sammy Jay and Tommy Tit the Chickadee and 
Drummer the Woodpecker and a few others have 
a little sense; they don't go off on long, foolish 
journeys. But the rest of you " 

"Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut!" interrupted Jenny 
Wren. "You don't know what you are talking 
about, and no one sounds so silly as one who 
tries to talk about something he knows nothing 

Peter chuckled. "That tongue of yours is 
just as sharp as ever," said he. "But just the 
same it is good to hear it. We certainly would 
miss it. I was beginning to be a little worried 
for fear something might have happened to you 
so that you wouldn't be back here this summer. 
You know me well enough, Jenny Wren, to know 
that you can't hurt me with your tongue, sharp 
as it is, so you may as well save your breath to 
tell me a few things I want to know. Now if 
you are as fond of the Old Orchard as you pre- 
tend to be, why did you ever leave it?" 

Jenny Wren's bright eyes snapped. "Why do 
you eat ? " she asked tartly. 

"Because I'm hungry," replied Peter promptly. 

"What would you eat if there were nothing to 
eat?" snapped Jenny. 

"That's a silly question," retorted Peter. 

"No more silly than asking me why I leave 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

the Old Orchard," replied Jenny. "Do give us 
birds credit for a little common sense, Peter. 
We can't live without eating any more than you 
can, and in winter there is no food at all here for 
most of us, so we go where there is food. Those 
who are lucky enough to eat the kinds of food 
that can be found here in winter stay here. They 
are lucky. That's what they are lucky. 
Still" Jenny Wren paused. 

"Still what?" prompted Peter. 

"I wonder sometimes if you folks who are at 
home all the time know just what a blessed place 
home is," replied Jenny. "It is only six months 
since we went south, but I said it seems ages, 
and it does. The best part of going away is 
coming home. I don't care if that does sound 
rather mixed; it is true just the same. It isn't 
home down there in the sunny South, even if we 
do spend as much time there as we do here. This 
is home, and there's no place like it! What's 
that, Mr. Wren? I haven't seen all the Great 
World ? Perhaps I haven't, but I've seen enough 
of it, let me tell you that ! Any one who travels 
a thousand miles twice a year as we do has a 
right to express an opinion, especially if they 
have used their eyes as I have mine. There is 
no place like home, and you needn't try to tease 
me by pretending that there is. My dear, I 

Jenny Wren Arrives 

know you; you are just as tickled to be back 
here as I am." 

"He sings as if he were," said Peter, for all the 
time Mr. Wren was singing with all his might. 

Jenny Wren looked over at Mr. Wren fondly. 
"Isn't he a dear to sing to me like that? And 
isn't it a perfectly beautiful spring song?" said 
she. Then, without waiting for Peter to reply, 
her tongue rattled on. "I do wish he would be 
careful. Sometimes I am afraid he will overdo. 
Just look at him now ! He is singing so hard that 
he is shaking all over. He always is that way. 
There is one thing true about us Wrens, and this 
is that when we do things we do them with all 
our might. When we work we work with all 
our might. When Mr. Wren sings he sings with 
all his might." 

"And when you scold you scold with all your 
might," interrupted Peter mischievously. 

Jenny Wren opened her mouth for a sharp 
reply, but laughed instead. "I suppose I do 
scold a good deal," said she, "but if I didn't, 
goodness knows who wouldn't impose on us. I 
can't bear to be imposed on." 

"Did you have a pleasant journey up from the 
sunny South?" asked Peter. 

"Fairly pleasant," replied Jenny. "We took 
it rather easily. Some birds hurry right through 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

without stopping, and I should think they would 
be tired to death when they arrive. We rest 
whenever we are tired, and just follow along be- 
hind Mistress Spring, keeping far enough behind 
so that if she has to turn back we will not get 
caught by Jack Frost. It gives us time to get 
our new suits on the way. You know everybody 
expects you to have new things when you return 
home. How do you like my new suit, Peter?" 
Jenny bobbed and twisted and turned to show it 
off. It was plain to see that she was very proud 
of it. 

"Very much," replied Peter. "I am very fond 
of brown. Brown and gray are my favorite 
colors." You know Peter's own coat is brown 
and gray. 

"That is one of the most sensible things I have 
heard you say," chattered Jenny Wren. "The 
more I see of bright colors the better I like brown. 
It always is in good taste. It goes well with almost 
everything. It is neat and it is useful. If there 
is need of getting out of sight in a hurry you can 
do it if you wear brown. But if you wear bright 
colors it isn't so easy. I never envy anybody 
who happens to have brighter clothes than mine. 
I've seen dreadful things happen all because of 
wearing bright colors." 

"What?" demanded Peter. 

JENNY WREN. This is the saucy little House Wren wh 

BULLY THE ENGLISH SPARROW, the common sparrow of the streets. 
CHIPPY THE CHIPPING SPARROW, the smallest of the family. 

Jenny Wren Arrives 

"I'd rather not talk about them," declared 
Jenny in a very emphatic way. " 'Way down 
where we spent the winter some of the feathered 
folks who live there all the year round wear the 
brightest and most beautiful suits I've ever seen. 
They are simply gorgeous. But I've noticed that 
in times of danger these are the folks dreadful 
things happen to. You see they simply can't 
get out of sight. For my part I would far rather 
be simply and neatly dressed and feel safe than 
to wear wonderful clothes and never know a 
minute's peace. Why, there are some families 
I know of which, because of their beautiful suits, 
have been so hunted by men that hardly any are 
left. But gracious, Peter Rabbit, I can't sit here 
all day talking to you ! I must find out who else 
has arrived in the Old Orchard and must look my 
old house over to see if it is fit to live in." 




PETER RABBIT'S eyes twinkled when Jenny 
Wren said that she must look her old house over 
to see if it was fit to live in. "I can save you that 
trouble," said he. 

"What do you mean?'* Jenny's voice was 
very sharp. 

"Only that your old house is already occupied," 
replied Peter. "Bully the English Sparrow has 
been living in it for the last two months. In 
fact, he already has a good-sized family there." 

"What?" screamed Jenny and Mr. Wren to- 
gether. Then without even saying good-by to 
Peter, they flew in a great rage to see if he had 
told them the truth. Presently he heard them 
scolding as fast as their tongues could go, and this 
is very fast indeed. 

"Much good that will do them," chuckled 
Peter. "They will have to find a new house this 
year. All the sharp tongues in the world couldn't 
budge Bully the English Sparrow. My, my, my, 
my, just hear that racket! I think I'll go over 
and see what is going on." 

The Old Orchard Bully 

So Peter hopped to a place where he could get 
a good view of Jenny Wren's old home and still 
not be too far from the safety of the old stone 
wall. Jenny Wren's old home had been in a 
hole in one of the old apple-trees. Looking over 
to it, Peter could see Mrs. Bully sitting in the 
little round doorway and quite filling it. She 
was shrieking excitedly. Hopping and flitting 
from twig to twig close by were Jenny and Mr. 
Wren, their tails pointing almost straight up to 
the sky, and scolding as fast as they could make 
their tongues go. Flying savagely at one and 
then at the other, and almost drowning their 
voices with his own harsh cries, was Bully him- 
self. He was perhaps one fourth larger than 
Mr. Wren, although he looked half again as big. 
But for the fact that his new spring suit was very 
dirty, due to his fondness for taking dust baths 
and the fact that he cares nothing about his 
personal appearance and takes no care of himself, 
he would have been a fairly good-looking fellow. 
His back was more or less of an ashy color with 
black and chestnut stripes. His wings were 
brown with a white bar on each. His throat and 
breast were black, and below that he was of a 
dirty white. The sides of his throat were white 
and the back of his neck chestnut. 

By ruffling up his feathers and raising his wings 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

slightly as he hopped about, he managed to make 
himself appear much bigger than he really was. 
He looked like a regular little fighting savage. 
The noise had brought all the other birds in the 
Old Orchard to see what was going on, and every 
one of them was screaming and urging Jenny and 
Mr. Wren to stand up for their rights. Not one of 
them had a good word for Bully and his wife. It 
certainly was a disgraceful neighborhood squabble. 

Bully the English Sparrow is a born fighter. 
He never is happier than when he is in the midst 
of a fight or a fuss of some kind. The fact that 
all his neighbors were against him didn't bother 
Bully in the least. 

Jenny and Mr. Wren are no cowards, but the 
two together were no match for Bully. In fact, 
Bully did not hesitate to fly fiercely at any of 
the onlookers who came near enough, not even 
when they were twice his own size. They could 
have driven him from the Old Orchard had they 
set out to, but just by his boldness and appear- 
ance he made them afraid to try. 

All the tune Mrs. Bully sat in the little round 
doorway, encouraging him. She knew that as 
long as she sat there it would be impossible for 
either Jenny or Mr. Wren to get in. Truth to 
tell, she was enjoying it all, for she is as quarrel- 
some and as fond of fighting as is Bully himself. 

The Old Orchard Bully 

"You're a sneak! You're a robber! That's 
my house, and the sooner you get out of it the 
better!" shrieked Jenny Wren, jerking her tail 
with every word as she hopped about just out of 
reach of Bully. 

"It may have been your house once, but it is 
mine now, you little snip-of -nothing !" cried Bully, 
rushing at her like a little fury. "Just try to 
put us out if you dare ! You didn't make this 
house in the first place, and you deserted it when 
you went south last fall. It's mine now, and 
there isn't anybody in the Old Orchard who can 
put me out." 

Peter Rabbit nodded. "He's right there," 
muttered Peter. "I don't like him and never 
will, but it is true that he has a perfect right to 
that house. People who go off and leave things 
for half a year shouldn't expect to find them 
just as they left them. My, my, my, what a 
dreadful noise ! Why don't they all get together 
and drive Bully and Mrs. Bully out of the Old 
Orchard ? If they don't, I'm afraid he will drive 
them out. No one likes to live with such quarrel- 
some neighbors. They don't belong over in this 
country, anyway, and we would be a lot better 
off if they were not here. But I must say I do 
have to admire their spunk." 

All the time Bully was darting savagely at 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

this one and that one and having a thoroughly 
good time, which is more than could be said of 
any one else, except Mrs. Bully. 

"I'll teach you folks to know that I am in the 
Old Orchard to stay!" shrieked Bully. "If you 
don't like it, why don't you fight? I am not 
afraid of any of you or all of you together." This 
was boasting, plain boasting, but it was effective. 
He actually made the other birds believe it. Not 
one of them dared stand up to him and fight. 
They were content to call him a bully and all the 
bad names they could think of, but that did 
nothing to help Jenny and Mr. Wren recover 
their house. Calling another bad names never 
hurts him. Brave deeds and not brave words 
are what count. 

How long that disgraceful squabble in the Old 
Orchard would have lasted had it not been for 
something which happened, no one knows. Right 
in the midst of it some one discovered Black Pussy, 
the cat who lives in Farmer Brown's house, steal- 
ing Up through the Old Orchard, her tail twitch- 
ing and her yellow eyes glaring eagerly. She had 
heard that dreadful racket and suspected that in 
the midst of such excitement she might have a 
chance to catch one of the feathered folks. You 
can always trust Black Pussy to be on hand at a 
time like that. 


The Old Orchard Bully 

No sooner was she discovered than everything 
else was forgotten. With Bully in the lead, and 
Jenny and Mr. Wren close behind him, all the 
birds turned their attention to Black Pussy. 
She was the enemy of all, and they straightway 
forgot their own quarrel. Only Mrs. Bully re- 
mained where she was, in the little round door- 
way of her house. She intended to take no 
chances, but she added her voice to the general 
racket. How those birds did shriek and scream ! 
They darted down almost into the face of Black 
Pussy, and none went nearer than Bully the 
English Sparrow and Jenny Wren. 

Now Black Pussy hates to be the center of so 
much attention. She knew that, now she had 
been discovered, there wasn't a chance in the 
world for her to catch one of those Old Orchard 
folks. So, with tail still twitching angrily, she 
turned and, with such dignity as she could, left 
the Old Orchard. Clear to the edge of it the 
birds followed, shrieking, screaming, calling her 
bad names, and threatening to do all sorts of 
dreadful things to her, quite as if they really could. 

When finally she disappeared towards Farmer 
Brown's barn, those angry voices changed. It 
was such a funny change that Peter Rabbit 
laughed right out. Instead of anger there was 
triumph in every note as everybody returned to 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

attend to his own affairs. Jenny and Mr. Wren 
seemed to have forgotten all about Bully and his 
wife in their old house. They flew to another 
part of the Old Orchard, there to talk it all over 
and rest and get their breath. Peter Rabbit 
waited to see if they would not come over near 
enough to him for a little more gossip. But they 
didn't, and finally Peter started for his home in 
the dear Old Briar-patch. All the way there he 
chuckled as he thought of the spunky way in 
which Jenny and Mr. Wren had stood up for 
their rights. 




THE morning after the fight between Jenny 
and Mr. Wren and Bully the English Sparrow 
found Peter Rabbit in the Old Orchard again. 
He was so curious to know what Jenny Wren 
would do for a house that nothing but some very 
great danger could have kept him away from 
there. Truth to tell, Peter was afraid that not 
being able to have their old house, Jenny and Mr. 
Wren would decide to leave the Old Orchard 
altogether. So it was with a great deal of relief 
that as he hopped over a low place in the old stone 
wall he heard Mr. Wren singing with all his might. 

The song was coming from quite the other side 
of the Old Orchard from where Bully and Mrs. 
Bully had set up housekeeping. Peter hurried 
over. He found Mr. Wren right away, but at 
first saw nothing of Jenny. He was just about 
to ask after her when he caught sight of her with 
a tiny stick in her bill. She snapped her sharp 
little eyes at him, but for once her tongue 
was still. You see, she couldn't talk and carry 
that stick at the same time. Peter watched her 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

and saw her disappear in a little hole in a big 
branch of one of the old apple-trees. Hardly had 
she popped in than she popped out again. This 
time her mouth was free, and so was her tongue. 

"You'd better stop singing and help me," she 
said to Mr. Wren sharply. Mr. Wren obediently 
stopped singing and began to hunt for a tiny little 
twig such as Jenny had taken into that hole. 

" Well ! " exclaimed Peter. " It didn't take you 
long to find a new house, did it?" 

"Certainly not," snapped Jenny. "We can't 
afford to sit around wasting time like some folks 
I know." 

Peter grinned and looked a little foolish, but 
he didn't resent it. You see he was quite used to 
that sort of thing. "Aren't you afraid that 
Bully will try to drive you out of that house?" 
he ventured. 

Jenny Wren's sharp little eyes snapped more 
than ever. "I'd like to see him try!" said she. 
"That doorway's too small for him to get more 
than his head in. And if he tries putting his 
head in while I'm inside, I'll peck his eyes out!" 
She said this so fiercely that Peter laughed right 

"I really believe you would," said he. 

"I certainly would," she retorted. "Now I 
can't stop to talk to you, Peter Rabbit, because 

SWEET VOICE THE VESPER SPARROW. You can tell him from 
other Sparrows by the white outer feathers of his tail. 

LITTLE FRIEND THE SONG SPARROW. His tinkling, happy song 

can never be 

Jenny Has a Good Word for Some Sparrows 

I'm too busy. Mr. Wren, you ought to know 
that that stick is too big." Jenny snatched it 
out of Mr. Wren's mouth and dropped it on the 
ground, while Mr. Wren meekly went to hunt for 
another. Jenny joined him, and as Peter watched 
them he understood why Jenny is so often spoken 
of as a feathered busybody. 

For some time Peter Rabbit watched Jenny 
and Mr. Wren carry sticks and straws into that 
little hole until it seemed to him they were trying 
to fill the whole inside of the tree. Just watching 
them made Peter positively tired. Mr. Wren 
would stop every now and then to sing, but Jenny 
didn't waste a minute. In spite of that she 
managed to talk just the same. 

"I suppose Little Friend the Song Sparrow got 
here some time ago," said she. 

Peter nodded. "Yes," said he. "I saw him 
only a day or two ago over by the Laughing 
Brook, and although he wouldn't say so, I'm 
sure that he has a nest and eggs already." 

Jenny Wren jerked her tail and nodded her 
head vigorously. "I suppose so," said she. "He 
doesn't have to make as long a journey as we do, 
so he gets here sooner. Did you ever in your 
life see such a difference as there is between 
Little Friend and his cousin, Bully? Everybody 
loves Little Friend." 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

^ Once more Peter nodded. "That's right," 
said he. "Everybody does love Little Friend. 
It makes me feel sort of all glad inside just to hear 
him sing. I guess it makes everybody feel that 
way. I wonder why we so seldom see him up 
here in the Old Orchard." t 

"Because he likes damp places with plenty of 
bushes better," replied Jenny Wren. "It wouldn't 
do for everybody to like the same kind of a place. 
He isn't a tree bird, anyway. He likes to be on 
or near the ground. You will never find his nest 
much above the ground, not more than a foot or 
two. Quite often it is on the ground. Of course 
I prefer Mr. Wren's song, but I must admit that 
Little Friend has one of the happiest songs of 
any one I know. Then, too, tie is so modest, 
just like us Wrens." 

Peter turned his head aside to hide a smile, for 
if there is anybody who delights in being both 
seen and heard it is Jenny Wren, while Little 
Friend the Song Sparrow is shy and retiring, 
content to make all the world glad with his song, 
but preferring to keep out of sight as much as 

Jenny chattered on as she hunted for some more 

material for her nest. " I suppose you've noticed," 

said she, "that he and his wife dress very much 

alike. They don't go in for bright colors any 


Jenny Has a Good Word for Borne Sparrows 

more than we Wrens do. They show good taste. 
I like the little brown caps they wear, and the 
way their breasts and sides are streaked with 
brown. Then, too, they are such useful folks. 
It is a pity that that nuisance of a Bully doesn't 
learn something from them. I suppose they stay 
rather later than we do in the fall." 

"Yes," replied Peter. "They don't go until 
Jack Frost makes them. I don't know of any 
one that we miss more than we do them." 

"Speaking of the Sparrow family, did you see 
anything of Whitethroat ? " asked Jenny Wren, 
as she rested for a moment in the doorway of her 
new house and looked down at Peter Rabbit. 

Peter's face brightened. "I should say I did ! " 
he exclaimed. "He stopped for a few days on 
his way north. I only wish he would stay here 
all the time. But he seems to think there is no 
place like the Great Woods of the North. I could 
listen all day to his song. Do you know what 
he always seems to be saying ? " 

"What?" demanded Jenny. 

"I live happ-i-ly, happ-i-ly, happ-i-ly," replied 
Peter. "I guess he must too, because he makes 
other people so happy." 

Jenny nodded in her usual emphatic way. "I 

don't know him as well as I do some of the others," 

said she, "but when I have seen him down in 


The Burgess Bird Boole for Children 

the South he always has appeared to me to be a 
perfect gentleman. He is social too ; he likes to 
travel with others." 

"I've noticed that," said Peter. "He almost 
always has company when he passes through here. 
Some of those Sparrows are so much alike that 
it is hard for me to tell them apart, but I can 
always tell Whitethroat because he is one of 
the largest of the tribe and has such a lovely 
white throat. He really is handsome with his 
black and white cap and that bright yellow spot 
before each eye. I am told that he is very dearly 
loved up in the North where he makes his home. 
They say he sings all the time." 

"I suppose Scratcher the Fox Sparrow has 
been along too," said Jenny. "He also started 
some time before we did." 

"Yes," replied Peter. "He spent one night 
in the dear Old Briar-patch. He is fine looking, 
too, the biggest of all the Sparrow tribe, and how 
he can sing ! The only thing I've got against 
him is the color of his coat. It always reminds 
me of Reddy Fox, and I don't like anything that 
reminds me of that fellow. When he visited us 
I discovered something about Scratcher which I 
don't believe you know." 

"What?" demanded Jenny rather sharply. 

"That when he scratches among the leaves he 

Jenny Has a Good Word for Some Sparrows 

uses both feet at once," cried Peter triumphantly. 
"It's funny to watch him." 

"Pooh! I knew that," retorted Jenny Wren. 
"What do you suppose my eyes are made for? 
I thought you were going to tell me something I 
didn't know." 

Peter looked disappointed. 




FOR a while Jenny Wren was too busy to talk 
save to scold Mr. Wren for spending so much 
time singing instead of working. To Peter it 
seemed as if they were trying to fill that tree trunk 
with rubbish. "I should think they had enough 
stuff in there for half a dozen nests," muttered 
Peter. "I do believe they are carrying it in for 
the fun of working." Peter wasn't far wrong in 
this thought, as he was to discover a little later 
in the season when he found Mr. Wren building 
another nest for which he had no use. 

Finding that for the time being he could get 
nothing more from Jenny Wren, Peter hopped 
over to visit Johnny Chuck, whose home was 
between the roots of an old apple-tree in the far 
corner of the Old Orchard. Peter was still think- 
ing of the Sparrow family; what a big family it 
was, yet how seldom any of them, excepting 
Bully the English Sparrow, were to be found in 
the Old Orchard. 

"Hello, Johnny Chuck!" cried Peter, as he 
discovered Johnny sitting on his doorstep. " You've 

Chippy, Sweetvoice, and Dotty 

lived in the Old Orchard a long time, so you ought 
to be able to tell me something I want to know. 
Why is it that none of the Sparrow family except- 
ing that noisy nuisance, Bully, build in the trees 
of the Old Orchard? Is it because Bully has 
driven all the rest out?" 

Johnny Chuck shook his head. "Peter," said 
he, "whatever is the matter with your ears? 
And whatever is the matter with your eyes ?" 

" Nothing," replied Peter rather shortly. "They 
are as good as yours any day, Johnny Chuck." 

Johnny grinned. "Listen!" said Johnny. 
Peter listened. From a tree just a little way off 
came a clear "Chip, chip, chip, chip." Peter 
didn't need to be told to look. He knew without 
looking who was over there. He knew that voice 
for that of one of his oldest and best friends in 
the Old Orchard, a little fellow with a red-brown 
cap, brown back with feathers streaked with 
black, brownish wings and tail, a gray waistcoat 
and black bill, and a little white line over each 
eye, altogether as trim a little gentleman as 
Peter was acquainted with. It was Chippy, as 
everybody calls the Chipping Sparrow, the 
smallest of the family. 

Peter looked a little foolish. "I forgot all 
about Chippy," said he. "Now I think of it, 
I have found Chippy here in the Old Orchard 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

ever since I can remember. I never have seen 
his nest because I never happened to think about 
looking for it. Does he build a trashy nest like 
his cousin, Bully?" 

Johnny Chuck laughed. "I should say not!" 
he exclaimed. "Twice Chippy and Mrs. Chippy 
have built their nest in this very old apple-tree. 
There is no trash in their nest, I can tell you ! 
It is just as dainty as they are, and not a bit bigger 
than it has to be. It is made mostly of little 
fine, dry roots, and it is lined inside with horse- 

"What's that?" Peter's voice sounded as if 
he suspected that Johnny Chuck was trying to 
fool him. 

"It's a fact," said Johnny, nodding his head 
gravely. "Goodness knows where they find it 
these days, but find it they do. Here comes 
Chippy himself; ask him." 

Chippy and Mrs. Chippy came flitting from 
tree to tree until they were on a branch right over 
Peter and Johnny. "Hello !" cried Peter. "You 
folks seem very busy. Haven't you finished 
building your nest yet?" 

"Nearly," replied Chippy. "It is all done but 
the horsehair. We are on our way up to Farmer 
Brown's barnyard now to look for some. You 
haven't seen any around anywhere, have you ?" 

Chippy, Sweetvoice, and Dotty 

Peter and Johnny shook their heads, and 
Peter confessed that he wouldn't know horsehair 
if he saw it. He often had found hair from the 
coats of Reddy Fox and Old Man Coyote and 
Digger the Badger and Lightfoot the Deer, but 
hair from the coat of a horse was altogether 
another matter. 

"It isn't hair from the coat of a horse that we 
want," cried Chippy, as he prepared to fly after 
Mrs, Chippy. "It is long hair from the tail or 
mane of a horse that we must have. It makes 
the very nicest kind of lining for a nest." 

Chippy and Mrs. Chippy were gone a long time, 
but when they did return each was carrying a 
long black hair. They had found what they 
wanted, and Mrs. Chippy was in high spirits 
because, as she took pains to explain to Peter, 
that little nest would now soon be ready for the 
four beautiful little blue eggs with black spots 
on one end she meant to lay in it. 

"I just love Chippy and Mrs. Chippy," said 
Peter, as they watched their two little feathered 
friends putting the finishing touches to the little 
nest far out on a branch of one of the apple- 

"Everybody does," replied Johnny. "Every- 
body loves them as much as they hate Bully and 
his wife. Did you know that they are sometimes 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

called Tree Sparrows? I suppose it is because 
they so often build their nests in trees? " 

"No," said Peter, "I didn't. Chippy shouldn't 
be called Tree Sparrow, because he has a cousin 
by that name." 

Johnny Chuck looked as if he doubted that. 
"I never heard of him," he grunted. 

Peter grinned. Here was a chance to tell 
Johnny Chuck something, and Peter never is 
happier than when he can tell folks something 
they don't know. "You'd know him if you didn't 
sleep all winter," said Peter. "Dotty the Tree 
Sparrow spends the winter here. He left for his 
home in the Far North about the time you took 
it into your head to wake up." 

"Why do you call him Dotty?" asked Johnny 

"Because he has a little round black dot right 
in the middle of his breast," replied Peter. "I 
don't know why they call him Tree Sparrow; 
he doesn't spend his tune in the trees the way 
Chippy does, but I see him much oftener in low 
bushes or on the ground. I think Chippy has 
much more right to the name of Tree Sparrow 
than Dotty has. Now I think of it, I've heard 
Dotty called* the Winter Chippy." 

"Gracious, what a mix-up !" exclaimed Johnny 
Chuck. "With Chippy being called a Tree Spar- 

DOTTY THE TREE SPARROW. The reddish-brown cap and dark spot 
in the middle of his breast are all you need to look for. 

SLATY THE JUNCO. The little slate-colored and white ground bird of 


Chippy, Sweetvoice, and Dotty 

row and a Tree Sparrow called Chippy, I should 
think folks would get all tangled up." 

"Perhaps they would," replied Peter, "if both 
were here at the same time, but Chippy comes 
just as Dotty goes, and Dotty comes as Chippy 
goes. That's a pretty good arrangement, espe- 
cially as they look very much alike, excepting that 
Dotty is quite a little bigger than Chippy and 
always has that black dot, which Chippy does not 
have. Goodness gracious, it is time I was back 
in the dear Old Briar-patch ! Good-by, Johnny 

Away went Peter Rabbit, lipperty-lipperty-lip, 
heading for the dear Old Briar-patch. Out of 
the grass just ahead of him flew a rather pale, 
streaked little brown bird, and as he spread his 
tail Peter saw two white feathers on the outer 
edges. Those two white feathers were all Peter 
needed to recognize another little friend of whom 
he is very fond. It was Sweet voice the Vesper 
Sparrow, the only one of the Sparrow family with 
white feathers in his tail. 

"Come over to the dear Old Briar-patch and 
sing to me," cried Peter. 

Sweetvoice dropped down into the grass again, 

and when Peter came up, was very busy getting 

a mouthful of dry grass. "Can't," mumbled 

Sweetvoice. "Can't do it now, Peter Rabbit. 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

I'm too busy. It is high time our nest was finished, 
and Mrs. Sweetvoice will lose her patience if I 
don't get this grass over there pretty quick." 

"Where is your nest; in a tree?" asked Peter 

"That's telling," declared Sweetvoice. "Not 
a living soul knows where that nest is, excepting 
Mrs. Sweetvoice and myself. This much I will 
tell you, Peter: it isn't in a tree. And I'll tell 
you this much more : it is in a hoofprint of Bossy 
the Cow." 

"In a what?" cried Peter. 

"In a hoofprint of Bossy the Cow," repeated 
Sweetvoice, chuckling softly. "You know when 
the ground was wet and soft early this spring, 
Bossy left deep footprints wherever she went. 
One of these makes the nicest kind of a place for 
a nest. I think we have picked out the very 
best one on all the Green Meadows. Now run 
along, Peter Rabbit, and don't bother me any 
more. I've got too much to do to sit here talking. 
Perhaps I'll come over to the edge of the dear 
Old Briar-patch and sing to you a while just 
after jolly, round, red Mr. Sun goes to bed behind 
the Purple Hills. I just love to sing then." 

"I'll be watching for you," replied Peter. 
"You don't love to sing any better than I love 
to hear you. I think that is the best time of all 

Chippy, Sweetvoice, and Dotty 

the day in which to sing. I mean, I think it's 
the best time to hear singing," for of course Peter 
himself does not sing at all. 

That night, sure enough, just as the Black 
Shadows came creeping out over the Green 
Meadows, Sweetvoice, perched on the top of a 
bramble-bush over Peter's head, sang over and 
over again the sweetest little song and kept on 
singing even after it was quite dark. Peter didn't 
know it, but it is this habit of singing in the 
evening which has given Sweetvoice his name of 
Vesper Sparrow. 




RUNNING over to the Old Orchard very early 
in the morning for a little gossip with Jenny Wren 
and his other friends there had become a regular 
thing with Peter Rabbit. He was learning a 
great many things, and some of them were most 
surprising. ' 

Now two of Peter's oldest and best friends in 
the Old Orchard were Winsome Bluebird and 
Welcome Robin. Every spring they arrived pretty 
nearly together, though Winsome Bluebird usually 
was a few days ahead of Welcome Robin. This 
year Winsome had arrived while the snow still 
lingered in patches. He was, as he always is, 
the herald of sweet Mistress Spring. And when 
Peter had heard for the first time Winsome's 
soft, sweet whistle, which seemed to come from 
nowhere in particular and from everywhere in 
general, he had kicked up his long hind legs from 
pure joy. Then, when a few days later he had 
heard Welcome Robin's joyous message of " Cheer- 
up! Cheer-up! Cheer-up! Cheer-up! Cheer!" 

Peter Learns Something He Hadn*t Guessed 

from the tiptop of a tall tree, he had known that 
Mistress Spring really had arrived. 

Peter loves Winsome Bluebird and Welcome 
Robin, just as everybody else does, and he had 
known them so long and so well that he thought 
he knew all there was to know about them. He 
would have been very indignant had anybody 
told him he didn't. 

" Those cousins don't look much alike, do 
they?" remarked Jenny Wren, as she poked her 
head out of her house to gossip with Peter. 

"What cousins ?" demanded Peter, staring very 
hard in the direction in which Jenny Wren was 

"Those two sitting on the fence over there. 
Where are your eyes, Peter?" replied Jenny 
rather sharply. 

Peter stared harder than ever. On one post 
sat Winsome Bluebird, and on another post sat 
Welcome Robin. "I don't see anybody but 
Winsome and Welcome, and they are not even 
related," replied Peter with a little puzzled frown. 

"Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut, Peter!" exclaimed 
Jenny Wren. "Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut! Who 
told you any such nonsense as that? Of course 
they are related. They are cousins. I thought 
everybody knew that. They belong to the same 
family that Melody the Thrush and all the other 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

Thrushes belong to. That makes them all 

"What?" exclaimed Peter, looking as if he 
didn't believe a word of what Jenny Wren had 
said. Jenny repeated, and still Peter looked 

Then Jenny lost her temper, a thing she does 
very easily. "If you don't believe me, go ask 
one of them," she snapped, and disappeared 
inside her house, where Peter could hear her 
scolding away to herself. 

The more he thought of it, the more this struck 
Peter as good advice. So he hopped over to the 
foot of the fence post on which Winsome Blue- 
bird was sitting. "Jenny Wren says that you 
and Welcome Robin are cousins. She doesn't 
know what she is talking about, does she?" asked 

Winsome chuckled. It was a soft, gentle 
chuckle. "Yes," said he, nodding his head, 
"we are. You can trust that little busybody to 
know what she is talking about, every time. I 
sometimes think she knows more about other 
people's affairs than about her own. Welcome 
and I may not look much alike, but we are 
cousins just the same. Don't you think Welcome 
is looking unusually fine this spring ? " 

"Not a bit finer than you are yourself, Win- 

Peter Learns Something He Hadn't Guessed 

some," replied Peter politely. "I just love that 
sky-blue coat of yours. What is the reason that 
Mrs. Bluebird doesn't wear as bright a coat as 
you do?" 

"Go ask Jenny Wren," chuckled Winsome 
Bluebird, and before Peter could say another 
word he flew over to the roof of Farmer Brown's 

Back scampered Peter to tell Jenny Wren that 
he was sorry he had doubted her and that he 
never would again. Then he begged Jenny to 
tell him why it was that Mrs. Bluebird was not 
as brightly dressed as was Winsome. 

"Mrs. Bluebird, like most mothers, is alto- 
gether too busy to spend much time taking care 
of her clothes; and fine clothes need a lot of 
care," replied Jenny. "Besides, when Winsome 
is about he attracts all the attention and that 
gives her a chance to slip in and out of her nest 
without being noticed. I don't believe you know, 
Peter Rabbit, where Winsome's nest is." 

Peter had to admit that he didn't, although 
he had tried his best to find out by watching 
Winsome. "I think it's over in that little house 
put up by Farmer Brown's boy," he ventured. 
"I saw both Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird go in it when 
they first came, and I've seen Winsome around 
it a great deal since, so I guess it is there." 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

"So you guess it is there!" mimicked Jenny 
Wren. "Well, your guess is quite wrong, Peter; 
quite wrong. As a matter of fact, it is in one 
of those old fence posts. But just which one 
I am not going to tell you. I will leave that for 
you to find out. Mrs. Bluebird certainly shows 
good sense. She knows a good house when she sees 
it. The hole in that post is one of the best holes 
anywhere around here. If I had arrived here early 
enough I would have taken it myself. But Mrs. 
Bluebird already had her nest built in it and four 
eggs there, so there was nothing for me to do but 
come here. Just between you and me, Peter, 
I think the Bluebirds show more sense in nest 
building than do their cousins the Robins. There 
is nothing like a house with stout walls and a 
doorway just big enough to get in and out of 

Peter nodded quite as if he understood all 
about the advantages of a house with walls. 
"That reminds me," said he. "The other day I 
saw Welcome Robin getting mud and carrying it 
away. Pretty soon he was joined by Mrs. Robin, 
and she did the same thing. They kept it up till 
I got tired of watching them. What were they 
doing with that mud ?" 

"Building their nest, of course, stupid," re- 
torted Jenny, "Welcome Robin, with that black 

Peter Learns Something He Hadn't Guessed 

head, beautiful russet breast, black and white 
throat and yellow bill, not to mention the proud 
way in which he carries himself, certainly is a 
handsome fellow, and Mrs. Robin is only a little 
less handsome. How they can be content to 
build the kind of a home they do is more than I 
can understand. People think that Mr. Wren 
and I use a lot of trash in our nest. Perhaps we 
do, but I can tell you one thing, and that is it is 
clean trash. It is just sticks and clean straws, 
and before I lay my eggs I see to it that my nest 
is lined with feathers. More than this, there isn't 
any cleaner housekeeper than I am, if I do say it. 

"Welcome Robin is a fine looker and a fine 
singer, and everybody loves him. But when it 
comes to housekeeping, he and Mrs. Robin are 
just plain dirty. They make the foundation of 
their nest of mud, plain, common, ordinary 
mud. They cover this with dead grass, and some- 
times there is mighty little of this over the inside 
walls of mud. I know because I've seen the in- 
side of their nest often. Anybody with any eyes 
at all can find their nest. More than once I've 
known them to have their nest washed away in a 
heavy rain, or have it blown down in a high wind. 
Nothing like that ever happens to Winsome 
Bluebird or to me." 

Jenny disappeared inside her house, and Peter 

The Burgess Bird Boole for Children 

waited for her to come out again. Welcome 
Robin flew down on the ground, ran a few steps, 
and then stood still with his head on one side as 
if listening. Then he reached down and tugged 
at something, and presently out of the ground 
came a long, wriggling angleworm. Welcome 
gulped it down and ran on a few steps, then once 
more paused to listen. This time he turned and 
ran three or four steps to the right, where he 
pulled another worm out of the ground. 

"He acts as if he heard those worms in the 
ground," said Peter, speaking aloud without think- 

"He does," said Jenny Wren, poking her head 
out of her doorway just as Peter spoke. "How 
do you suppose he would find them when they 
are in the ground if he didn't hear them ?" 

" Can you hear them ? " asked Peter. 

"I've never tried, and I don't intend to waste 
my time trying," retorted Jenny. "Welcome 
Robin may enjoy eating them, but for my part I 
want something smaller and daintier, young grass- 
hoppers, tender young beetles, small caterpillars, 
bugs and spiders." 

Peter had to turn his head aside to hide the 
wry face he just had to make at the mention of 
such things as food. "Is that all Welcome 
Robin eats ? " he asked innocently. 


WELCOME ROBIN. No other bird has a russet breast like his. 

WINSOME BLUEBIRD. His blue back, wings and tail leave no doubt as to 
who he is. 

Peter Learns Something He Hadn't Guessed 

"I should say not," laughed Jenny. "He eats 
a lot of other kinds of worms, and he just dearly 
loves fruit like strawberries and cherries and all 
sorts of small berries. Well, I can't stop here 
talking any longer. I'm going to tell you a secret, 
Peter, if you'll promise not to tell." 

Of course Peter promised, and Jenny leaned 
so far down that Peter wondered how she could 
keep from falling as she whispered, "I've got 
seven eggs in my nest, so if you don't see much of 
me for the next week or more, you'll know why. 
I've just got to sit on those eggs and keep them 




EVERY day brought newcomers to the Old 
Orchard, and early in the morning there were so 
many voices to be heard that perhaps it is no 
wonder if for some time Peter Rabbit failed to 
miss that of one of his very good friends. Most 
unexpectedly he was reminded of this as very 
early one morning he scampered, lipperty-lipperty- 
Hp, across a little bridge over the Laughing Brook. 

"Dear me! Dear me! Dear me!" cried rather 
a plaintive voice. Peter stopped so suddenly 
that he all but fell heels over head. Sitting on 
the top of a tall, dead, mullein stalk was a very 
soberly dressed but rather trim little fellow, a 
very little larger than Bully the English Sparrow. 
Above, his coat was of a dull olive-brown, while 
underneath he was of a grayish-white, with faint 
tinges of yellow in places. His head was dark, 
and his bill black. The feathers on his head 
were lifted just enough to make the tiniest kind 
of crest. His wings and tail were dusky, little 
bars of white showing very faintly on his wings, 
while the outer edges of his tail were distinctly 

An Old Friend in a New Home 

white. He sat with his tail hanging straight down, 
as if he hadn't strength enough to hold it up. 

"Hello, Dear Me!" cried Peter joyously. 
"What are you doing way down here? I haven't 
seen you since you first arrived, just after Win- 
some Bluebird got here." Peter started to say 
that he had wondered what had become of Dear 
Me, but checked himself, for Peter is very honest 
and he realized now that in the excitement of 
greeting so many friends he hadn't missed Dear 
Me at aU. 

Dear Me the Phcebe did not reply at once, 
but darted out into the air, and Peter heard a 
sharp click of that little black bill. Making a 
short circle, Dear Me alighted on the mullein 
stalk again. 

"Did you catch a fly then ?" asked Peter. 

"Dear me! Dear me! Of course I did," was 
the prompt reply. And with each word there was 
a jerk of that long hanging tail. Peter almost 
wondered if in some way Dear Me's tongue and 
tail were connected. "I suppose," said he, "that 
it is the habit of catching flies and bugs in the air 
that has given your family the name of Fly- 

Dear Me nodded and almost at once started 
into the air again. Once more Peter heard the 
click of that little black bill, then Dear Me was 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

back on his perch. Peter asked again what he 
was doing down there. 

"Mrs. Phoebe and I are living down here," 
replied Dear Me. " We've made our home down 
here and we like it very much." 

Peter looked all around, this way, that way, 
every way, with the funniest expression on his 
face. He didn't see anything of 'Mrs. Phoebe 
and he didn't see any place in which he could 
imagine Mr. and Mrs. Phoebe building a nest. 
"What are you looking for?" asked Dear Me. 

"For Mrs. Phoebe and your home," declared 
Peter quite frankly. "I didn't suppose you and 
Mrs. Phoebe ever built a nest on the ground, and 
I don't see any other place around here for one." 

Dear Me chuckled. "I wouldn't tell any one 
but you, Peter," said he, "but I've known you so 
long that I'm going to let you into a little secret. 
Mrs. Phoebe and our home are under the very 
bridge you are sitting on." 

"I don't believe it !" cried Peter. 

But Dear Me knew from the way Peter said it 
that he really didn't mean that. "Look and see 
for yourself," said Dear Me. 

So Peter lay flat on his stomach and tried to 

stretch his head over the edge of the bridge so as 

to see under it. But his neck wasn't long enough, 

or else he was afraid to lean over as far as he might 


An Old Friend in a New Home 

have. Finally he gave up and at Mr. Phoebe's 
suggestion crept down the bank to the very edge 
of the Laughing Brook. Dear Me darted out to 
catch another fly, then flew right in under the 
bridge and alighted on a little ledge of stone just 
beneath the floor. There, sure enough, was a 
nest, and Peter could see Mrs. Phoebe's bill and 
the top of her head above the edge of it. It was 
a nest with a foundation of mud covered with 
moss and lined with feathers. 
[ "That's perfectly splendid!" cried Peter, as 
Dear Me resumed his perch on the old mullein 
stalk. "How did you ever come to think of such 
a place ? And why did you leave the shed up at 
Farmer Brown's where you have built your home 
for the last two or three years ?" 

"Oh," replied Dear Me, "we Phcebes always 
have been fond of building under bridges. You 
see a place like this is quite safe. Then, too, we 
like to be near water. Always there are many 
insects flying around where there is water, so it 
is an easy matter to get plenty to eat. I left 
the shed at Farmer Brown's because that pesky 
cat up there discovered our nest last year, and we 
had a dreadful time keeping our babies out of 
her clutches. She hasn't found us down here, 
and she wouldn't be able to trouble us if she 
should find us." 


t The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

"I suppose," said Peter, "that as usual you 
were the first of your family to arrive." 

" Certainly. Of course," replied Dear Me. " We 
always are the first. Mrs. Phoebe and I don't 
go as far south in winter as the other members 
of the family do. They go clear down into the 
Tropics, but we manage to pick up a pretty good 
living without going as far as that. So we get 
back here before the rest of them, and usually 
have begun housekeeping by the time they arrive. 
My cousin, Chebec the Least Flycatcher, should 
be here by this time. Haven't you heard any- 
thing of him up in the Old Orchard?" 

"No," replied Peter, "but to tell the truth I 
haven't looked for him. I'm on my way to the 
Old Orchard now, and I certainly shall keep my 
ears and eyes open for Chebec. I'll tell you if 
I find him. Good-by." 

" Dear me ! Dear me ! Good-by, Peter. Dear 
me ! " replied Mr. Phcebe as Peter started off 
for the Old Orchard. 

Perhaps it was because Peter was thinking of 
him that almost the first voice he heard when he 
reached the Old Orchard was that of Chebec, 
repeating his own name over and over as if he 
loved the sound of it. It didn't take Peter long 
to find him. He was sitting out on the tip of one 
of the upper branches of an apple-tree where he 

An Old Friend in a New Home 

could watch for flies and other winged insects. 
He looked so much like Mr. Phoebe, save that 
he was smaller, that any one would have known 
they were cousins. "Chebec! Chebec! Che- 
bee !" he repeated over and over, and with every 
note jerked his tail. Now and then he would dart 
out into the air and snap up something so small 
that Peter, looking up from the ground, couldn't 
see it at all. 

"Hello, Chebec!" cried Peter. "I'm glad to 
see you back again. Are you going to build in 
the Old Orchard this year?" 

"Of course I am," replied Chebec promptly. 
"Mrs. Chebec and I have built here for the last 
two or three years, and we wouldn't think of 
going anywhere else. Mrs. Chebec is looking for 
a place now. I suppose I ought to be helping 
her, but I learned a long time ago, Peter Rabbit, 
that in matters of this kind it is just as well not 
to have any opinion at all. When Mrs. Chebec 
has picked out just the place she wants, I'll help 
her build the nest. It certainly is good to be back 
here in the Old Orchard and planning a home once 
more. We've made a terribly long journey, and 
I for one am glad it's over." 

"I just saw your cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Phcebe, 
and they already have a nest and eggs," said 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

"The Phoebes are a funny lot," replied Chebec. 
"They are the only members of the family that 
can stand cold weather. What pleasure they 
get out of it I don't understand. They are queer 
anyway, for they never build their nests in trees 
as the rest of us do." , 

"Are you the smallest in the family?" asked 
Peter, for it had suddenly struck him that Chebec 
was a very little fellow indeed. 

Chebec nodded. "I'm the smallest," said he. 
"That's why they call me Least Flycatcher. I 
may be least in size, but I can tell you one thing, 
Peter Rabbit, and that is that I can catch just as 
many bugs and flies as any of them." Suiting 
action to the word, he darted out into the air. 
His little bill snapped and with a quick turn he 
was back on his former perch, jerking his tail and 
uttering his sharp little cry of, " Chebec ! Chebec ! 
Chebec!" until Peter began to wonder which he 
was the most fond of, catching flies, or the sound 
of his own voice. 

Presently they both heard Mrs. Chebec calling 
from somewhere in the middle of the Old Orchard. 
"Excuse me, Peter," said Chebec, "I must go at 
once. Mrs. Chebec says she has found just the 
place for our nest, and now we've got a busy time 
ahead of us. We are very particular how we build 
a nest." 


CHEBEC THE LEAST FLYCATCHER. He will tell you his name. 
DEAR ME THE PHOEBE. Look for him around an old bridge or shed. 

An Old Friend in a New Home 

"Do you start it with mud the way Welcome 
Robin and your cousins, the Phcebes, do?" asked 

"Mud!" cried Chebec scornfully. "Mud! I 
should say not ! I would have you understand, 
Peter, that we are very particular about what 
we use in our nest. We use only the finest of 
rootlets, strips of soft bark, fibers of plants, the 
brown cotton that grows on ferns, and perhaps a 
little hair when we can find it. We make a dainty 
nest, if I do say it, and we fasten it securely in 
the fork made by two or three upright little 
branches. Now I must go because Mrs. Chebec 
is getting impatient. Come see me when I'm 
not so busy, Peter." 



A FEW days after Chebec and his wife started 
building their nest in the Old Orchard Peter 
dropped around as usual for a very early call. 
He found Chebec very busy hunting for materials 
for that nest, because, as he explained to Peter, 
Mrs. Chebec is very particular indeed about what 
her nest is made of. But he had time to tell 
Peter a bit of news. 

"My fighting cousin and my handsomest cousin 
arrived together yesterday, and now our family is 
very well represented in the Old Orchard," said 
Chebec proudly. 

Slowly Peter reached over his back with his 
long left hind foot and thoughtfully scratched his 
long right ear. He didn't like to admit that he 
couldn't recall those two cousins of Chebec's. 
"Did you say your fighting cousin?" he asked 
in a hesitating way. 

"That's what I said," replied Chebec. "He 
is Scrapper the Kingbird, as of course you know. 
The rest of us always feel safe when he is about." 

The Watchman of the Old Orchard 

"Of course I know him," declared Peter, his 
face clearing. " Where is he now ?" * 

At that very instant a great racket broke out 
on the other side of the Old Orchard and in no 
time at all the feathered folks were hurrying from 
every direction, screaming at the top of their voices. 
Of course, Peter couldn't be left out of anything 
like that, and he scampered for the scene of trouble 
as fast as his legs could take him. When he got 
there he saw Redtail the Hawk flying up and down 
and this way and that way, as if trying to get away 
from something or somebody. 

For a minute Peter couldn't think what was the 
trouble with Redtail, and then he saw. A white- 
throated, white-breasted bird, having a black cap 
and back, and a broad white band across the end 
of his tail, was darting at Redtail as if he meant 
to pull out every feather in the latter's coat. 

He was just a little smaller than Welcome Robin, 
and in comparison with him Redtail was a perfect 
giant. But this seemed to make no difference to 
Scrapper, for that is who it was. He wasn't afraid, 
and he intended that everybody should know it, 
especially Redtail. It is because of his fearless- 
ness that he is called Kingbird. All the time he was 
screaming at the top of his lungs, calling Redtail a 
robber and every other bad name he could think of. 
All the other birds joined him in calling Redtail 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

bad names. But none, not even Bully the Eng- 
lish Sparrow, was brave enough to join him in 
attacking big Redtail. 

When he had succeeded in driving Redtail far 
enough from the Old Orchard to suit him, Scrapper 
flew back and perched on a dead branch of one 
of the trees, where he received the congratulations 
of all his feathered neighbors. He took them 
quite modestly, assuring them that he had done 
nothing, nothing at all, but that he didn't intend 
to have any of the Hawk family around the Old 
Orchard while he lived there. Peter couldn't 
help but admire Scrapper for his courage. 

As Peter looked up at Scrapper he saw that, 
like all the rest of the flycatchers, there was just 
the tiniest of hooks on the end of his bill. Scrap- 
per's slightly raised cap seemed all black, but if 
Peter could have gotten close enough, he would 
have found that hidden in it was a patch of 
orange-red. While Peter sat staring up at him 
Scrapper suddenly darted out into the air, and 
his bill snapped in quite the same way Chebec's 
did when he caught a fly. But it wasn't a fly 
that Scrapper had. It was a bee. Peter saw it 
very distinctly just as Scrapper snapped it up. 
It reminded Peter that he had often heard Scrap- 
per called the Bee Martin, and now he understood 


The Watchman of the Old Orchard 

"Do you live on bees altogether?" asked Peter. 

"Bless your heart, Peter, no," replied Scrapper 
with a chuckle. "There wouldn't be any honey 
if I did. I like bees. I like them first rate. But 
they form only a very small part of my food. 
Those that I do catch are mostly drones, and you 
know the drones are useless. They do no work 
at all. It is only by accident that I now and 
then catch a worker. I eat all kinds of insects 
that fly and some that don't. I'm one of Farmer 
Brown's best friends, if he did but know it. You 
can talk all you please about the wonderful eye- 
sight of the members of the Hawk family, but if 
any one of them has better eyesight than I have, 
I'd like to know who it is. There's a fly 'way 
over there beyond that old apple-tree; watch 
me catch it." 

Peter knew better than to waste any effort 
trying to see that fly. He knew that he couldn't 
have seen it had it been only one fourth that dis- 
tance away. But if he couldn't see the fly he 
could hear the sharp click of Scrapper's bill, and 
he knew by the way Scrapper kept opening and 
shutting his mouth after his return that he had 
caught that fly and it had tasted good. 

"Are you going to build in the Old Orchard 
this year?" asked Peter. 

"Of course I am," declared Scrapper. "I " 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

Just then he spied Blacky the Crow and dashed 
out to meet him. Blacky saw him coming and 
was wise enough to suddenly appear to have no 
interest whatever in the Old Orchard, turning 
away towards the Green Meadows instead. 

Peter didn't wait for Scrapper to return. It 
was getting high time for him to scamper home 
to the dear Old Briar-patch and so he started 
along, lipperty-lipperty-lip. Just as he was leav- 
ing the far corner of the Old Orchard some one 
called him. "Peter! Oh, Peter Rabbit!" called 
the voice. Peter stopped abruptly, sat up very 
straight, looked this way, looked that way and 
looked the other way, every way but the right way. 

"Look up over your head," cried the voice, 
rather a harsh voice. Peter looked, then all in 
a flash it came to him who it was Chebec had 
meant by the handsomest member of his family. 
It was Cresty the Great Crested Flycatcher. 
He was a wee bit bigger than Scrapper the King- 
bird, yet not quite so big as Welcome Robin, and 
more slender. His throat and breast were gray, 
shading into bright yellow underneath. His back 
and head were of a grayish-brown with a tint of 
olive-green. A pointed cap was all that was 
needed to make him quite distinguished looking. 
He certainly was the handsomest as well as the 
largest of the Flycatcher family, 


SCRAPPER THE KINGBIRD. Look in the Old Orchard for a bird with 
white breast, dark head and back, and with a white tip to his tail. 

REDEYE THE VIREO. The only Vireo with ted eyes. 

The Watchman of the Old Orchard 

"You seem to be in a hurry, so don't let me 
detain you, Peter," said Cresty, before Peter 
could find his tongue. "I just want to ask one 
little favor of you." 

"What is it?" asked Peter, who is always 
glad to do any one a favor. . s 

"If in your roaming about you run across an 
old cast-off suit of Mr. Black Snake, or of any 
other member of the Snake family, I wish you 
would remember me and let me know. Will you, 
Peter?" said Cresty. 

"A a a what ? " stammered Peter. r 

"A cast-off suit of clothes from any member of 
the Snake family," replied Cresty somewhat im- 
patiently. "Now don't forget, Peter. I've got 
to go house hunting, but you'll find me here or 
hereabouts, if it happens that you find one of 
those cast-off Snake suits." - * 

Before Peter could say another word Cresty 
had flown away. Peter hesitated, looking first 
towards the dear Old Briar-patch and then 
towards Jenny Wren's house. He just couldn't 
understand about those cast-off suits of the Snake 
family, and he felt sure that Jenny Wren could 
tell him. Finally curiosity got the best of him, 
and back he scampered, lipperty-lipperty-lip, to 
the foot of the tree in which Jenny Wren had her 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

"Jenny!" called Peter. "Jenny Wren ! Jenny 
Wren!" No one answered him. He could hear 
Mr. Wren singing in another tree, but he couldn't 
see him. "Jenny! Jenny Wren ! Jenny Wren!" 
called Peter again. This time Jenny popped her 
head out, and her little eyes fairly snapped. 
"Didn't I tell you the other day, Peter Rabbit, 
that I'm not to be disturbed ? Didn't I tell you 
that I've got seven eggs in here, and that I can't 
spend any time gossiping? Didn't I, Peter 
Rabbit? Didn't I? Didn't I?" 

"You certainly did, Jenny. You certainly did, 
and I'm sorry to disturb you," replied Peter 
meekly. "I wouldn't have thought of doing such 
a thing, but I just didn't know who else to go to." 

"Go to for what?" snapped Jenny Wren. 
"What is it you've come to me for?" 

"Snake skins," replied Peter. 

"Snake skins! Snake skins!" shrieked Jenny 
Wren. "What are you talking about, Peter 
Rabbit ? I never have anything to do with Snake 
skins and don't want to. Ugh ! It makes me 
shiver just to think of it." 

"You don't understand," cried Peter hurriedly. 
"What I want to know is, why should Cresty 
the Flycatcher ask me to please let him know if I 
found any cast-off suits of the Snake family. He 
flew away before I could ask him why he wants 

The Watchman of the Old Orchard 

them, and so I came to you, because I know you 
know everything, especially everything concern- 
ing your neighbors." 

Jenny Wren looked as if she didn't know whether 
to feel flattered or provoked. But Peter looked 
so innocent that she concluded he was trying to 
say something nice. 




"I CAN'T stop to talk to you any longer now, 
Peter Rabbit," said Jenny Wren, "but if you will 
come over here bright and early to-morrow morn- 
ing, while I am out to get my breakfast, I will tell 
you about Cresty the Flycatcher and why he 
wants the cast-off clothes of some of the Snake 
family. Perhaps I should say what he wants of 
them instead of why he wants them, for why any 
one should want anything to do with Snakes is 
more then I can understand." 

With this Jenny Wren disappeared inside her 
house, and there was nothing for Peter to do but 
once more start for the dear Old Briar-patch. 
On his way he couldn't resist the temptation to 
run over to the Green Forest, which was just 
beyond the Old Orchard. He just had to find out 
if there was anything new over there. Hardly 
had he reached it when he heard a plaintive voice 
crying, "Pee-wee! Pee-e ! Pee-wee!" Peter 
chuckled happily. "I declare, there's Pewee," 
he cried. "He usually is one of the last of the 
Flycatcher family to arrive. I didn't expect to 

Old Clothes and Old Houses 

find him yet. I wonder what has brought him 
up so early." 

It didn't take Peter long to find Pewee. He 
just followed the sound of that voice and presently 
saw Pewee fly out and make the same kind of a 
little circle as the other members of his family 
make when they are hunting flies. It ended just 
where it had started, on a dead twig of a tree in 
a shady, rather lonely part of the Green Forest. 
Almost at once he began to call his name in a 
rather sad, plaintive tone, "Pee-wee! Pee-wee ! 
Pee-wee!" But he wasn't sad, as Peter well 
knew. It was his way of expressing how happy 
he felt. He was a little bigger than his cousin, 
Chebec, but looked very much like him. There 
was a little notch in the end of his tail. The upper 
half of his bill was black, but the lower half was 
light. Peter could see on each wing two whitish 
bars, and he noticed that Pewee's wings were 
longer than his tail, which wasn't the case with 
Chebec. But no one could ever mistake Pewee 
for any of his relatives, for the simple reason that 
he keeps repeating his own name over and over. 

"Aren't you here early?" asked Peter. 

Pewee nodded. "Yes," said he. "It has been 
unusually warm this spring, so I hurried a little 
and came up with my cousins, Scrapper and 
Cresty. That is something I don't often do." 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

"If you please," Peter inquired politely, "why 
do folks call you Wood Pewee ? " 

Pewee chuckled happily. "It must be," said 
he, "because I am so very fond of the Green 
Forest. It is so quiet and restful that I love it. 
Mrs. Pewee and I are very retiring. We do not 
like too many near neighbors." 

"You won't mind if I come to see you once in a 
while, will you?" asked Peter as he prepared to 
start on again for the dear Old Briar-patch. 

"Come as often as you like," replied Pewee. 
"The oftener the better." 

Back in the Old Briar-patch Peter thought over 
all he had learned about the Flycatcher family, 
and as he recalled how they were forever catch- 
ing all sorts of flying insects it suddenly struck 
him that they must be very useful little people 
in helping Old Mother Nature take care of her 
trees and other growing things which insects so 
dearly love to destroy. 

But most of all Peter thought about that queer 
request of Cresty's, and a dozen times that day 
he found himself peeping under old logs in the 
hope of finding a cast-off coat of Mr. Black Snake. 
It was such a funny thing for Cresty to ask for 
that Peter's curiosity would allow him no peace, 
and the next morning he was up in the Old Orchard 
before jolly Mr. Sun had kicked his bedclothes off. 

Old Clothes and Old Houses 

Jenny Wren was as good as her word. While 
she flitted and hopped about this way and that 
way in that fussy way of hers, getting her break- 
fast, she talked. Jenny couldn't keep her tongue 
still if she wanted to. 

"Did you find any old clothes of the Snake 
family?" she demanded. Then as Peter shook 
his head her tongue ran on without waiting for 
him to reply. "Cresty and his wife always insist 
upon having a piece of Snake skin in their nest," 
said she. "Why they want it, goodness knows! 
But they do want it and never can seem to settle 
down to housekeeping unless they have it. Per- 
haps they think it will scare robbers away. As 
for me, I should have a cold chill every time I 
got into my nest if I had to sit on anything like 
that. I have to admit that Cresty and his wife 
are a handsome couple, and they certainly have 
good sense in choosing a house, more sense than 
any other member of their family to my way of 
thinking. But Snake skins ! Ugh !" 

"By the way, where does Cresty build?" asked 

"In a hole in a tree, like the rest of us sensible 
people," retorted Jenny Wren promptly. 

Peter looked quite as surprised as he felt. 
"Does Cresty make the hole?" he asked. 

"Goodness gracious, no!" exclaimed Jenny 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

Wren. "Where are your eyes, Peter? Did you 
ever see a Flycatcher with a bill that looked as 
if it could cut wood?" She didn't wait for a 
reply, but rattled on. 5< It is a good thing for a 
lot of us that the Woodpecker family are so fond 
of new houses. Look! There is Downy the 
Woodpecker hard at work on a new house this 
very minute. That's good. I like to see that. 
It means that next year there will be one more 
house for some one here in the Old Orchard. For 
myself I prefer old houses. I've noticed there 
are a number of my neighbors who feel the same 
way about it. There is something settled about 
an old house. It doesn't attract attention the 
way a new one does. So long as it has got reason- 
ably good walls, and the rain and the wind can't 
get in, the older it is the better it suits me. But 
the Woodpeckers seem to like new houses best, 
which, as I said before, is a very good thing for 
the rest of us." 

"Who is there besides you and Cresty and Bully 
the English Sparrow who uses these old Wood- 
pecker houses?" asked Peter. 

"Winsome Bluebird, stupid!" snapped Jenny 

|> Peter grinned and looked foolish. "Of course," 
said he. "I forgot all about Winsome." f 

"And Skimmer the Tree Swallow," added Jenny. 

Old Clothes and Old Houses 

"That's so; I ought to have remembered him," 
exclaimed Peter. "I've noticed that he is very 
fond of the same house year after year. Is there 
anybody else?" 

Again Jenny Wren nodded. "Yank-Yank the 
Nuthatch uses an old house, I'm told, but he 
usually goes up North for his nesting," said she. 
"Tommy Tit the Chickadee sometimes uses an 
old house. Then again he and Mrs. Chickadee 
get fussy and make a house for themselves. 
Yellow Wing the Flicker, who really is a Wood- 
pecker, often uses an old house, but quite 
often makes a new one. Then there are Killy 
the Sparrow Hawk and Spooky the Screech 
Owl." ., ' 

Peter looked surprised. "I didn't suppose they 
nested in holes in trees !" he exclaimed. 

"They certainly do, more's the pity!" snapped 
Jenny. "It would be a good thing for the rest 
of us if they didn't nest at all. But they do, and 
an old house of Yellow Wing the Flicker suits 
either of them. Killy always uses one that is 
high up, and comes back to it year after year. 
Spooky isn't particular so long as the house is 
big enough to be comfortable. He lives in it 
more or less the year around. Now I must get 
back to those eggs of mine. I've talked quite 
enough for one morning." 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

"Oh, Jenny," cried Peter, as a sudden thought 
struck him. 

Jenny paused and jerked her tail impatiently. 
"Well, what is it now?" she demanded. 

"Have you got two homes?" asked Peter. 

"Goodness gracious, no!" exclaimed Jenny. 
"What do you suppose I want of two homes? 
One is all I can take care of." 

"Then why," demanded Peter triumphantly, 
"does Mr. Wren work all day carrying sticks and 
straws into a hole in another tree? It seems to 
me that he has carried enough in there to build 
two or three nests." 

Jenny Wren's eyes twinkled, and she laughed 
softly. "Mr. Wren just has to be busy about 
something, bless his heart," said she. "He hasn't 
a lazy feather on him. He's building that nest 
to take up his time and keep out of mischief. 
Besides, if he fills that hollow up nobody else will 
take it, and you know we might want to move 
some time. Good-by, Peter." With a final jerk 
of her tail Jenny Wren flew to the little round 
doorway of her house and popped inside. 



FROM the decided way in which Jenny Wren 
had popped into the little round doorway of her 
home, Peter knew that to wait in the hope of more 
gossip with her would be a waste of time. He 
wasn't ready to go back home to the dear Old 
Briar-patch, yet there seemed nothing else ,to 
do, for everybody in the Old Orchard was too busy 
for idle gossip. Peter scratched a long ear with a 
long hind foot, trying to think of some place to 
go. Just then he heard the clear "peep, peep, 
peep" of the Hylas, the sweet singers of the 
Smiling Pool. 

"That's where I'll go!" exclaimed Peter. "I 
haven't been to the Smiling Pool for some time. 
I'll just run over and pay my respects to Grand- 
father Frog, and to Redwing the Blackbird. 
Redwing was one of the first birds to arrive, and 
I've neglected him shamefully." 

When Peter thinks of something to do he wastes 

no time. Off he started, lipperty-lipperty-lip, for 

the Smiling Pool. He kept close to the edge of 

the Green Forest until he reached the place where 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

the Laughing Brook comes out of the Green 
Forest on its way to the Smiling Pool in the Green 
Meadows. Bushes and young trees grow along 
the banks of the Laughing Brook at this point. 
The ground was soft in places, quite muddy. 
Peter doesn't mind getting his feet damp, so he 
hopped along carelessly. From right under his 
very nose something shot up into the air with a 
whistling sound. It startled Peter so that he 
stopped short with his eyes popping out of his 
head. He had just a glimpse of a brown form 
disappearing over the tops of some tall bushes. 
Then Peter chuckled. "I declare," said he, "I 
had forgotten all about my old friend, Longbill 
the Woodcock. He scared me for a second." 

"Then you are even," said a voice close at hand. 
"You scared him. I saw you coming, but Long- 
bill didn't." 

Peter turned quickly. There was Mrs. Wood- 
cock peeping at him from behind a tussock of 

"I didn't mean to scare him," apologized Peter. 
"I really didn't mean to. Do you think he was 
really very much scared?" 

"Not too scared to come back, anyway," said 
Longbill himself, dropping down just in front of 
Peter. "I recognized you just as I was disap- 
pearing over the tops of the bushes, so I came right 

LONGBILL THE WOODCOCK. Look for him in damp, wooded pi. 

BOB WHITE. No other bird is shaped like him. 

Longbill and Teeter 

back. I learned when I was very young that 
when startled it is best to fly first and find out 
afterwards whether or not there is real danger. 
I am glad it is no one but you, Peter, for I was 
having a splendid meal here, and I should have 
hated to leave it. You'll excuse me while I go 
on eating, I hope. We can talk between bites." 

"Certainly I'll excuse you," replied Peter, 
staring around very hard to see what it could be 
Longbill was making such a good meal of. But 
Peter couldn't see a thing that looked good to eat. 
There wasn't even a bug or a worm crawling on 
the ground. Longbill took two or three steps in 
rather a stately fashion. Peter had to hide a 
smile, for Longbill had such an air of importance, 
yet at the same time was such an odd looking 
fellow. He was quite a little bigger than Welcome 
Robin, his tail was short, his legs were short, and 
his neck was short. But his bill was long enough 
to make up. His back was a mixture of gray, 
brown, black and buff, while his breast and under 
parts were a beautiful reddish-buff. It was his 
head that made him look queer. His eyes were 
very big and they were set so far back that Peter 
wondered if it wasn't easier for him to look be- 
hind him than in front of him. 

Suddenly Longbill plunged his bill into the 
ground. He plunged it in for the whole length. 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

Then he pulled it out and Peter caught a glimpse 
of the tail end of a worm disappearing down Long- 
bill's throat. Where that long bill had gone into 
the ground was a neat little round hole. For the 
first time Peter noticed that there were many such 
little round holes all about. "Did you make all 
those little round holes?" exclaimed Peter. 

"Not all," replied Longbill. "Mrs. Woodcock 
made some of them." 

"And was there a worm in every one?" asked 
Peter, his eyes very wide with interest. 

Longbill nodded. " Of course," said he. "You 
don't suppose we would take the trouble to bore 
one of them if we didn't know that we would get 
a worm at the end of it, do you ?" 

Peter remembered how he had watched Wel- 
come Robin listen and then suddenly plunge his 
bill into the ground and pull out a worm. But the 
worms Welcome Robin got were always close to 
the surface, while these worms were so deep in 
the earth that Peter couldn't understand how it 
was possible for any one to know that they were 
there. Welcome Robin could see when he got 
hold of a worm, but Longbill couldn't. "Even 
if you know there is a worm down there in the 
ground, how do you know when you've reached 
him ? And how is it possible for you to open your 
bill down there to take him in?" asked Peter. 

Longbill and Teeter 

Longbill chuckled. "That's easy," said he. 
"I've got the handiest bill that ever was. See 
here !" Longbill suddenly thrust his bill straight 
out in front of him and to Peter's astonishment he 
lifted the end of the upper half without opening 
the rest of his bill at all. "That's the way I get 
them," said he. "I can feel them when I reach 
them, and then I just open the tip of my bill and 
grab them. I think there is one right under my 
feet now ; watch me get him." Longbill bored 
into the ground until his head was almost against 
it. When he pulled his bill out, sure enough, 
there was a worm. "Of course," explained Long- 
bill, "it is only in soft ground that I can do this. 
That is why I have to fly away south as soon as 
the ground freezes at all." 

"It's wonderful," sighed Peter. "I don't sup- 
pose any one else can find hidden worms that way." 

"My cousin, Jack Snipe, can," replied Long- 
bill promptly. "He feeds the same way I do, 
only he likes marshy meadows instead of brushy 
swamps. Perhaps you know him." 

Peter nodded. "I do," said he. "Now you 
speak of it, there is a strong family resemblance, 
although I hadn't thought of him as a relative of 
yours before. Now I must be running along. 
I'm ever so glad to have seen you, and I'm com- 
ing over to call again the first chance I get." 

' The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

So Peter said good-by and kept on down the 
Laughing Brook to the Smiling Pool. Right 
where the Laughing Brook entered the Smiling 
Pool there was a little pebbly beach. Running 
along the very edge of the water was a slim, trim 
little bird with fairly long legs, a long slender 
bill, brownish-gray back with black spots and 
markings, and a white waistcoat neatly spotted 
with black. Every few steps he would stop to 
pick up something, then stand for a second bobbing 
up and down in the funniest way, as if his body 
was so nicely balanced on his legs that it teetered 
back and forth like a seesaw. It was Teeter the 
Spotted Sandpiper, an old friend of Peter's. Peter 
greeted him joyously. 

"Peet-weet! Peet-weet!" cried Teeter, turning 
towards Peter and bobbing and bowing as only 
Teeter can. Before Peter could say another word 
Teeter came running towards him, and it was 
plain to see that Teeter was very anxious about 
something. "Don't move, Peter Rabbit! Don't 
move!" he cried. 

"Why not?" demanded Peter, for he could see 
no danger and could think of no reason why he 
shouldn't move. Just then Mrs. Teeter came 
hurrying up and squatted down in the sand right 
in front of Peter. 

"Thank goodness!" exclaimed Teeter, still 

Longbill and Teeter 

bobbing and bowing. "If you had taken another 
step, Peter Rabbit, you would have stepped 
right on our eggs. You gave me a dreadful 

Peter was puzzled. He showed it as he stared 
down at Mrs. Teeter just in front of him. "I 
don't see any nest or eggs or anything," said he 
rather testily. 

Mrs. Teeter stood up and stepped aside. Then 
Peter saw right in a little hollow in the sand, with 
just a few bits of grass for a lining, four white 
eggs with big dark blotches on them. They looked 
so much like the surrounding pebbles that he never 
would have seen them in the world but for Mrs. 
Teeter. Peter hastily backed away a few steps. 
Mrs. Teeter slipped back on the eggs and settled 
herself comfortably. It suddenly struck Peter 
that if he hadn't seen her do it, he wouldn't have 
known she was there. You see she looked so 
much like her surroundings that he never would 
have noticed her at all. 

"My!" he exclaimed. " I certainly would have 
stepped on those eggs if you hadn't warned me," 
said he. "I'm so thankful I didn't. I don't 
see how you dare lay them in the open like 

Mrs. Teeter chuckled softly. "It's the safest 
place in the world, Peter," said she. "They look 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

so much like these pebbles around here that no 
one sees them. The only time they are in danger 
is when somebody comes along, as you did, and 
is likely to step on them without seeing them. 
But that doesn't happen often." 




PETER had come over to the Smiling Pool 
especially to pay his respects to Redwing the 
Blackbird, so as soon as he could, without being 
impolite, he left little Mrs. Teeter sitting on her 
eggs, and Teeter himself bobbing and bowing in 
the friendliest way, and hurried over to where 
the bulrushes grow. In the very top of the Big 
Hickory-tree, a little farther along on the bank 
of the Smiling Pool, sat some one who at that 
distance appeared to be dressed all in black. He 
was singing as if there were nothing but joy in all 
the great world. " Quong-ka-reee ! Quong-ka- 
reee ! Quong-ka-reee!" he sang. Peter would 
have known from this song alone that it was Red- 
wing the Blackbird, for there is no other song 
quite like it. 

As soon as Peter appeared in sight Redwing 
left his high perch and flew down to light among 
the broken-down bulrushes. As he flew, Peter 
saw the beautiful red patch on the bend of each 
wing, from which Redwing gets his name. "No 
one could ever mistake him for anybody else," 

The Burgess EM Book for Children 

thought Peter, "for there isn't anybody else with 
such beautiful shoulder patches." | 

"What's the news, Peter Rabbit?" cried Red- 
wing, coming over to sit very near Peter. 

"There isn't much," replied Peter, "excepting 
that Teeter the Sandpiper has four eggs just a 
little way from here." 

Redwing chuckled. "That is no news, Peter," 
said he. "Do you suppose that I live neighbor 
to Teeter and don't know where his nest is and 
all about his affairs ? There isn't much going on 
around the Smiling Pool that I don't know, I can 
tell you that." 

Peter looked a little disappointed, because there 
is nothing he likes better than to be the bearer of 
news. "I suppose," said he politely, "that you 
will be building a nest pretty soon yourself, Red- 

Redwing chuckled softly. It was a happy, 
contented sort of chuckle. "No, Peter," said 
he. "I am not going to build a nest." 

"What?" exclaimed Peter, and his two long 
ears stood straight up with astonishment. 

"No," replied Redwing, still chuckling. "I'm 
not going to build a nest. You see, Mrs. Red- 
wing and I already have a nest, and if you want 
to know a little secret, we have four as pretty eggs 
as ever were laid." 


REDWING THE BLACKBIRD. His shoulders are brilliant red with a mar- 
gin of yellow. 

SPECKLES THE STARLING. He looks something like a Blackbird speckled 
with tiny light spots. 

Redwing and Yellow Wing 

Peter fairly bubbled over with interest and 
curiosity. "How splendid!" he cried. "Where 
is your nest, Redwing? I would just love to see 
it. I suppose it is because she is sitting on those 
eggs that I haven't seen Mrs. Redwing. It was 
very stupid of me not to guess that folks who 
come as early as you do would be among the first 
to build a home. Where is it, Redwing? Do 
tell me." 

Redwing's eyes twinkled. 

"A secret which is known by three 

Full soon will not a secret be," 
said he. "It isn't that I don't trust you, Peter. 
I know that you wouldn't intentionally let my 
secret slip out. But you might do it by accident. 
What you don't know, you can't tell." 

"That's right, Redwing. I am glad you have 
so much sense," said another voice, and Mrs. 
Redwing alighted very near to Redwing. 

Peter couldn't help thinking that Old Mother 
Nature had been very unfair indeed in dressing 
Mrs. Redwing. She was, if anything, a little 
bit smaller than her handsome husband, and such 
a plain, not to say homely, little body that it was 
hard work to realize that she was a Blackbird 
at all. In the first place she wasn't black. She 
was dressed all over in grayish-brown with streaks 
of darker brown which in places were almost 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

black. She wore no bright-colored shoulder 
patches. In fact, there wasn't a bright feather 
on her anywhere. Peter wanted to ask why it 
was that she was so plainly dressed, but he was 
too polite and decided to wait until he should see 
Jenny Wren. She would be sure to know. In- 
stead, he exclaimed, "How do you do, Mrs. Red- 
wing? I'm ever so glad to see you. I was 
wondering where you were. Where did you come 

"Straight from my home," replied Mrs. Red- 
wing demurely. "And if I do say it, it is the 
best home we've ever had." 

Redwing chuckled. He was full of chuckles. 
You see, he had noticed how eagerly Peter was 
looking everywhere. 

"This much I will tell you, Peter," said Red- 
wing; "our nest is somewhere in these bulrushes, 
and if you can find it we won't say a word, even 
if you don't keep the secret." 

Then Redwing chuckled again and Mrs. Red- 
wing chuckled with him. You see, they knew 
that Peter doesn't like water, and that nest was 
hidden in a certain clump of brown, broken-down 
rushes, with water all around. Suddenly Red- 
wing flew up in the air with a harsh cry. "Run, 
Peter! Run!" he screamed. "Here comes 


Redwing and Yellow Wing 

Peter didn't wait for a second warning. He 
knew by the sound of Redwing's voice that Red- 
wing wasn't joking. There was just one place of 
safety, and that was an old hole of Grandfather 
Chuck's between the roots of the Big Hickory- 
tree. Peter didn't waste any time getting there, 
and he was none too soon, for Reddy was so close 
at his heels that he pulled some white hairs out of 
Peter's tail as Peter plunged headfirst down that 
hole. It was a lucky thing for Peter that that 
hole was too small for Reddy to follow and the 
roots prevented Reddy from digging it any bigger. 

For a long time Peter sat in Grandfather Chuck's 
old house, wondering how soon it would be safe 
for him to come out. For a while he heard Mr. 
and Mrs. Redwing scolding sharply, and by this 
he knew that Reddy Fox was still about. By 
and by they stopped scolding, and a few minutes 
later he heard Redwing's happy song. "That 
means," thought Peter, "that Reddy Fox has 
gone away, but I think I'll sit here a while longer 
to make sure." 

Now Peter was sitting right under the Big 
Hickory -tree. After a while he began to hear faint 
little sounds, little taps, and scratching sounds as 
of claws. They seemed to come from right over 
his head, but he knew that there was no one in that 
hole but himself. He couldn't understand it at all. 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

Finally Peter decided it would be safe to peek 
outside. Very carefully he poked his head out. 
Just as he did so, a little chip struck him right on 
the nose. Peter pulled his head back hurriedly 
and stared at the little chip which lay just in front 
of the hole. Then two or three more little chips 
fell. Peter knew that they must come from up 
in the Big Hickory -tree, and right away his curi- 
osity was aroused. Redwing was singing so hap- 
pily that Peter felt sure no danger was near, so 
he hopped outside and looked up to find out where 
those little chips had come from. Just a few 
feet above his head he saw a round hole in the 
trunk of the Big Hickory-tree. While he was look- 
ing at it, a head with a long stout bill was thrust 
out and in that bill were two or three little chips. 
Peter's heart gave a little jump of glad surprise. 

"Yellow Wing!" he cried. "My goodness, how 
you startled me!" 

The chips were dropped and the head was ftlrust 
farther out. The sides and throat were a soft 
reddish-tan and on each side at the beginning of the 
bill was a black patch. The top of the head was 
gray and just at the back was a little band of bright 
red. There was no mistaking that head. It be- 
longed to Yellow Wing the Flicker beyond a doubt. 

"Hello, Peter!" exclaimed Yellow Wing, his 
eyes twinkling. "What are you doing here?" 

YELLOW WING THE FLICKER. The bright yellow of the underside of 
each wing, the black crescent across his breast and his spotted underparts make 
him easy to identify. 

Redwing and Yellow Wing 

"Nothing," replied Peter, "but I want to know 
what you are doing. What are all those chips ? " 

"I'm fixing up this old house of mine," replied 
Yellow Wing promptly. "It wasn't quite deep 
enough to suit me, so I am making it a little 
deeper. Mrs. Yellow Wing and I haven't been 
able to find another house to suit us, so we have 
decided to live here again this year." He came 
wholly out and flew down on the ground near 
Peter. When his wings were spread, Peter saw 
that on the under sides they were a beautiful 
golden-yellow, as were the under sides of his tail 
feathers. Around his throat was a broad, black 
collar. From this, clear to his tail, were black 
dots. When his wings were spread, the upper 
part of his body just above the tail was pure white. 

"My," exclaimed Peter, "you are a handsome 
fellow ! I never realized before how handsome 
you are." 

Yellow Wing looked pleased. Perhaps he felt 
a little flattered. "I am glad you think so, Peter," 
said he. "I am rather proud of my suit, myself. 
I don't know of any member of my family with 
whom I would change coats." 

A sudden thought struck Peter. "What family 
do you belong to?" he asked abruptly. 

"The Woodpecker family," replied Yellow Wing 




PETER RABBIT was so full of questions that he 
hardly knew which one to ask first. But Yellow 
Wing the Flicker didn't give him a chance to ask 
any. From the edge of the Green Forest there 
came a clear, loud call of, "Pe-ok! Pe-ok ! 

"Excuse me, Peter, there's Mrs. Yellow Wing 
calling me," exclaimed Yellow Wing, and away 
he went. Peter noticed that as he flew he went 
up and down. It seemed very much as if he 
bounded through the air just as Peter bounds over 
the ground. "I would know him by the way he 
flies just as far as I could see him," thought Peter, 
as he started for home in the dear Old Briar- 
patch. "Somehow he doesn't seem like a Wood- 
pecker because he is on the ground so much. I 
must ask Jenny Wren about him." 

It was two or three days before Peter had a 
chance for a bit of gossip with Jenny Wren. 
When he did the first thing he asked was if Yellow 
Wing is a true Woodpecker. 

Drummers and Carpenters 

"Certainly he is," replied Jenny Wren. "Of 
course he is. Why under the sun should you 
think he isn't?" 

"Because it seems to me he is on the ground 
more than he's in the trees," retorted Peter. "I 
don't know any other Woodpeckers who come 
down on the ground at all." 

"Tut, tut, tut, tut!" scolded Jenny. "Think 
a minute, Peter ! Think a minute ! Haven't you 
ever seen Redhead on the ground?" 

Peter blinked his eyes. "Ye-e-s," he said 
slowly. "Come to think of it, I have. I've seen 
him picking up beechnuts in the fall. The Wood- 
peckers are a funny family. I don't understand 

Just then a long, rolling rat-a-tat-tat rang out 
just over their heads. "There's another one of 
them," chuckled Jenny. "That's Downy, the 
smallest of the whole family. He certainly makes 
an awful racket for such a little fellow. He is a 
splendid drummer and he's just as good a car- 
penter. He made the very house I am occupying 

Peter was sitting with his head tipped back 
trying to see Downy. At first he couldn't make 
him out. Then he caught a little movement on 
top of a dead limb. It was Downy 's head flying 
back and forth as he beat his long roll. He was 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

dressed all in black and 'white. On the back of 
his head was a little scarlet patch. He was mak- 
ing a tremendous racket for such a little chap, 
only a little bigger than one of the Sparrow family. 

"Is he making a hole for a nest up there ? " asked 
Peter eagerly. 

" Gracious, Peter, what a question ! What a 
perfectly silly question!" exclaimed Jenny Wren 
scornfully. "Do give us birds credit for a little 
common sense. If he were cutting a hole for a 
nest, everybody within hearing would know just 
where to look for it. Downy has too much sense 
in that little head of his to do such a silly thing 
as that. When he cuts a hole for a nest he doesn't 
make any more noise than is absolutely necessary. 
You don't see any chips flying, do you?" 

"No-o," replied Peter slowly. "Now you speak 
of it, I don't. Is is he hunting for worms in 
the wood?" 

Jenny laughed right out. "Hardly, Peter, 
hardly," said she. "He's just drumming, that's 
all. That hollow limb makes the best kind of a 
drum and Downy is making the most of it. Just 
listen to that! There isn't a better drummer 

But Peter wasn't satisfied. Finally he ventured 
another question. "What's he doing it for?" 

"Good land, Peter!" cried Jenny. "What do 

Drummers and Carpenters 

you run and jump for in the spring ? What is Mr. 
Wren singing for over there? Downy is drum- 
ming for precisely the same reason happiness. 
He can't run and jump and he can't sing, but 
he can drum. By the way, do you know that 
Downy is one of the most useful birds in the Old 

Just then Downy flew away, but hardly had he 
disappeared when another drummer took his 
place. At first Peter thought Downy had re- 
turned until he noticed that the newcomer was 
just a bit bigger than Downy. Jenny Wren's 
sharp eyes spied him at once- 

"Hello!" she exclaimed. "There's Hairy. Did 
you ever see two cousins look more alike? If it 
were not that Hairy is bigger than Downy it would 
be hard work to tell them apart. Do you see any 
other difference, Peter ? " 

Peter stared and blinked and stared again, 
then slowly shook his head. "No," he confessed, 

"i don't." ; 

"That shows you haven't learned to use your 
eyes, Peter," said Jenny rather sharply. "Look 
at the outside feathers of his tail; they are all 
white. Downy's outside tail feathers have little 
bars of black. Hairy is just as good a carpenter 
as is Downy, but for that matter I don't know of 
a member of the Woodpecker family who isn't a 

The Burgess EM Book for Children 

good carpenter. Where did you say Yellow Wing 
the Flicker is making his home this year?" 

"Over in the Big Hickory -tree by the Smiling 
Pool," replied Peter. "I don't understand yet 
why Yellow Wing spends so much "time on the 

"Ants," replied Jenny Wren. "Just ants. He's 
as fond of ants as is Old Mr. Toad, and that is 
saying a great deal. If Yellow Wing keeps on 
he'll become a ground bird instead of a tree bird. 
He gets more than half his living on the ground 
now. Speaking of drumming, did you ever hear 
Yellow Wing drum on a tin roof?" 

Peter shook his head. 

"Well, if there's a tin roof anywhere around, 
and Yellow Wing can find it, he will be perfectly 
happy. He certainly does love to make a noise, 
and tin makes the finest kind of a drum." 

Just then Jenny was interrupted by the arrival, 
on the trunk of the very next tree to the one on 
which she was sitting, of a bird about the size 
of Sammy Jay. His whole head and neck were a 
beautiful, deep red. His breast was pure white, 
and his back was black to nearly the beginning of 
his tail, where it was white. 

"Hello, Redhead!" exclaimed Jenny Wren. 
"How did you know we were talking about your 


REDHEAD THE WOODPECKER. You will know him instantly by his 
all-red head. 

DOWNY THE WOODPECKER. His smaller size and the black bars on the 
white outer feathers of his tail distinguish him. 

Drummers and Carpenters 

"Hello, chatterbox," retorted Redhead with a 
twinkle in his eyes. "I didn't know you were 
talking about my family, but I could have guessed 
that you were talking about some one's family. 
Does your tongue ever stop, Jenny?" 

Jenny Wren started to become indignant and 
scold, then thought better of it. "I was talking 
for Peter's benefit," said she, trying to look digni- 
fied, a thing quite impossible for any member of 
the Wren family to do. " Peter has always had 
the idea that true Woodpeckers never go down 
on the ground. I was explaining to him that 
Yellow Wing is a true Woodpecker, yet spends 
half his time on the ground." 

Redhead nodded. "It's all on account of ants/* 
said he. "I don't know of any one quite so fond 
of ants unless it is Old Mr. Toad. I like a few of 
them myself, but Yellow Wing just about lives 
on them when he can. You may have noticed 
that I go down on the ground myself once in a 
while. I am rather fond of beetles, and an oc- 
casional grasshopper tastes very good to me. I 
like a variety. Yes, sir, I certainly do like a 
variety cherries, blackberries, raspberries, straw- 
berries, grapes. In fact most kinds of fruit taste 
good to me, not to mention beechnuts and acorns 
when there is no fruit." 

Jenny Wren tossed her head. "You didn't 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

mention the eggs of some of your neighbors," said 
she sharply. 

Redhead did his best to look innocent, but 
Peter noticed that he gave a guilty start and very 
abruptly changed the subject, and a moment 
later flew away. 

"Is it true," asked Peter, "that Redhead does 
such a dreadful thing?" 

Jenny bobbed her head rapidly and jerked her 
tail. "So I am told," said she. "I've never 
seen him do it, but I know others who have. 
They say he is no better than Sammy Jay or 
Blacky the Crow. But gracious, goodness! I 
can't sit here gossiping forever." Jenny twitched 
her funny little tail, snapped her bright eyes at 
Peter, and disappeared in her house. 




HAVING other things to attend to, or rather 
having other things to arouse his curiosity, Peter 
Rabbit did not visit the Old Orchard for several 
days. When he did it was to find the entire 
neighborhood quite upset. There was an indig- 
nation meeting in progress in and around the tree 
in which Chebec and his modest little wife had 
their home. How the tongues did clatter ! Peter 
knew that something had happened, but though 
he listened with all his might he couldn't make 
head or tail of it. 

Finally Peter managed to get the attention of 
Jenny Wren. "What's happened?" demanded 
Peter. " What's all this fuss about ? " 

Jenny Wren was so excited that she couldn't 
keep still an instant. Her sharp little eyes snapped 
and her tail was carried higher than ever. "It's 
a disgrace ! It's a disgrace to the whole feathered 
race, and something ought to be done about it!" 
sputtered Jenny. "I'm ashamed to think that 
such a contemptible creature wears feathers ! I 
am so ! " 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

"But what's it all about?" demanded Peter 
impatiently. "Do keep still long enough to tell 
me. Who is this contemptible creature?" 

"Sally Sly," snapped Jenny Wren. "Sally Sly 
the Cowbird. I hoped she wouldn't disgrace the 
Old Orchard this year, but she has. When Mr. 
and Mrs. Chebec returned from getting their 
breakfast this morning they found one of Sally 
Sly's eggs in their nest. They are terribly upset, 
and I don't blame them. If I were in their place 
I simply would throw that egg out. That's what 
I'd do, I'd throw that egg out !" 

Peter was puzzled. He blinked his eyes and 
stroked his whiskers as he tried to understand 
what it all meant. "Who is Sally Sly, and what 
did she do that for?" he finally ventured. 

"For goodness' sake, Peter Rabbit, do you 
mean to tell me you don't know who Sally Sly 
is?" Then without waiting for Peter to reply, 
Jenny rattled on. "She's a member of the Black- 
bird family and she's the laziest, most good-for- 
nothing, sneakiest, most unfeeling and most self- 
ish wretch I know of!" Jenny paused long 
enough to get her breath. "She laid that egg in 
Chebec's nest because she is too lazy to build a 
nest of her own and too selfish to take care of her 
own children. Do you know what will happen, 
Peter Rabbit ? Do you know what will happen ? " 

Some Unlike Relatives 

Peter shook his head and confessed that he 
didn't. "When that egg hatches out, that young 
Cowbird will be about twice as big as Chebec's 
own children," sputtered Jenny. "He'll be so 
big that he'll get most of the food. He'll just rob 
those little Chebecs in spite of all their mother and 
father can do. And Chebec and his wife will be 
just soft-hearted enough to work themselves to 
skin and bone to feed the young wretch because he 
is an orphan and hasn't anybody to look after 
him. The worst of it is, Sally Sly is likely to play 
the same trick on others. She always chooses 
the nest of some one smaller than herself. She's 
terribly sly. No one has seen her about. She 
just sneaked into the Old Orchard this morning 
when everybody was busy, laid that egg and 
sneaked out again." 

"Did you say that she is a member of the Black- 
bird family?" asked Peter. 

Jenny Wren nodded vigorously. "That's what 
she is," said she. "Thank goodness, she isn't a 
member of my family. If she were I never would 
be able to hold my head up. Just listen to Goldy 
the Oriole over in that big elm. I don't see how 
he can sing like that, knowing that one of his 
relatives has just done such a shameful deed. 
It's a queer thing that there can be two members 
of the same family so unlike. Mrs. Goldy builds 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

one of the most wonderful nests of any one I know, 
and Sally Sly is too lazy to build any. If I were 
in Goldy's place I " 

"Hold on !" cried Peter. "I thought you said 
Sally Sly is a member of the Blackbird family. 
I don't see what she's got tp do with Goldy the 

"You don't, eh?" exclaimed Jenny. "Well, 
for one who pokes into other people's affairs as 
you do, you don't know much. The Orioles and 
the Meadow Larks and the Grackles and the 
Bobolinks all belong to the Blackbird family. 
They're all related to Redwing the Blackbird, and 
Sally Sly the Cowbird belongs in the same family." 

Peter gasped. "I I hadn't the least idea 
that any of these folks were related," stammered 

"Well, they are," retorted Jenny Wren. "As 
I live, there's Sally Sly now !" 

Peter caught a glimpse of a brownish-gray bird 
who reminded him somewhat of Mrs. Redwing. 
She was about the same size and looked very 
much like her. It was plain that she was trying 
to keep out of sight, and the instant she knew that 
she had been discovered she flew away in the 
direction of the Old Pasture. It happened that 
late that afternoon Peter visited the Old Pasture 
and saw her again. She and some of her friends 

Some Unlike Relatives 

were busily walking about close to the feet of the 
cows, where they seemed to be picking up food. 
One had a brown head, neck and breast ; the rest 
of his coat was glossy black. Peter rightly guessed 
that this must be Mr. Cowbird. Seeing them on 
such good terms with the cows he understood why 
they are called Cowbirds. 

Sure that Sally Sly had left the Old Orchard, the 
feathered folks settled down to their personal 
affairs and household cares, Jenny Wren among 
them. Having no one to talk to, Peter found a 
shady place close to the old stone wall and there 
sat down to think ovey* the surprising things he had 
learned. Presently Goldy the Baltimore Oriole 
alighted in the nearest apple-tree, and it seemed 
to Peter that never had he seen any one more 
beautifully dressed. His head, neck, throat and 
upper part of his back were black. The lower 
part of his back and his breast were a beautiful 
deep orange color. There was a dash of orange 
on his shoulders, but the rest of his wings were 
black with an edging of white. His tail was black 
and orange. Peter had heard him called the 
Firebird, and now he understood why. His song 
was quite as rich and beautiful as his coat. 

Shortly he was joined by Mrs. Goldy. Com- 
pared with her handsome husband she was very 
modestly dressed. She wore more brown than 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

black, and where the orange color appeared it was 
rather dull. She wasted no time in singing. 
Almost instantly her sharp eyes spied a piece of 
string caught in the bushes almost over Peter's 
head. With a little cry of delight she flew down 
and seized it. But the string was caught, and 
though she tugged and pulled with all her might 
she couldn't get it free. Goldy saw the trouble 
she was having and cutting his song short, flew 
down to help her. Together they pulled and 
tugged and tugged and pulled, until they had to 
stop to rest and get their breath. 

"We simply must have this piece of string," 
said Mrs. Goldy. "I've been hunting everywhere 
for a piece, and this is the first I've found. It is 
just what we need to bind our nest fast to the 
twigs. With this I won't have the least bit cf 
fear that that nest will ever tear loose, no matter 
how hard the wind blows." 

Once more they tugged and pulled and pulled 
and tugged until at last they got it free, and Mrs. 
Goldy flew away in triumph with the string in 
her bill. Goldy himself followed. Peter watched 
them fly to the tip of a long, swaying branch of a 
big elm-tree up near Farmer Brown's house. He 
could see something which looked like a bag 
hanging there, and he knew that this must be the 


GOLDIE THE BALTIMORE ORIOLE. He is almost wholly black and 
orange and nearly the size of a Robin. 

SAMMY JAY. His blue and gray coat with black and white markings makes 
the Blue Jay one of the easiest of all birds to recognize. 

Some Unlike Relatives 

"Gracious!" said Peter. "They must get ter- 
ribly tossed about when the wind blows. I should 
think their babies would be thrown out." 

"Don't you worry about them," said a voice. 

Peter looked up to find Welcome Robin just 
over him. "Mrs. Goldy makes one of the most 
wonderful nests I know of," continued Welcome 
Robin. "It is like a deep pocket made of grass, 
string, hair and bark, all woven together like a 
piece of cloth. It is so deep that it is quite safe 
for the babies, and they seem to enjoy being rocked 
by the wind. I shouldn't care for it myself be- 
cause I like a solid foundation for my home, but 
the Goldies like it. It looks dangerous but it 
really is one of the safest nests I know of. Snakes 
and cats never get 'way up there and there are few 
feathered nest-robbers who can get at those eggs 
so deep down in the nest. Goldy is sometimes 
called Golden Robin. He isn't a Robin at all, 
but I would feel very proud if he were a member 
of my family. He's just as useful as he is hand- 
some, and that's saying a great deal. He just 
dotes on caterpillars. There's Mrs. Robin calling 
me. Good-by, Peter." 

With this Welcome Robin flew away and Peter 
once more settled himself to think over all he had 




PETER RABBIT was dozing. Yes, sir, Peter was 
dozing. He didn't mean to doze, but whenever 
Peter sits still for a long time and tries to think, 
he is pretty sure to go to sleep. By and by he 
wakened with a start. At first he didn't know 
what had wakened him, but as he sat there blink- 
ing his eyes, he heard a few rich notes from the 
top of the nearest apple-tree. "It's Goldy the 
Oriole," thought Peter, and peeped out to see. 
L But though he looked and looked he couldn't 
see Goldy anywhere, but he did see a stranger. 
It was some one of about Goldy's size and shape. 
In fact he was so like Goldy, but for the color of 
his suit, that at first Peter almost thought Goldy 
had somehow changed his clothes. Of course he 
knew that this couldn't be, but it seemed as if it 
must be, for the song the stranger was singing was 
something like that of Goldy. The stranger's 
head and throat and back were black, just like 
Goldy's, and his wings were trimmed with white 
in just the same way. But the rest of his suit, 


More of the Blackbird Family 

instead of being the beautiful orange of which 
Goldy is so proud, was a beautiful chestnut 

Peter blinked and stared very hard. "Now 
who can this be ? " said he, speaking aloud without 

"Don't you know him?" asked a sharp voice 
so close to Peter that it made him jump. Peter 
whirled around. There sat Striped Chipmunk 
grinning at him from the top of the old stone wall. 
"That's Weaver the Orchard Oriole," Striped 
Chipmunk rattled on. "If you don't know him 
you ought to, because he is one of the very nicest 
persons in the Old Orchard. I just love to hear 
him sing." 

"Is is he related to Goldy?" asked Peter 
somewhat doubtfully. 

"Of course," retorted Striped Chipmunk. "I 
shouldn't think you would have to look at him 
more than once to know that. He's first cousin 
to Goldy. There comes Mrs. Weaver. I do hope 
they've decided to build in the Old Orchard this 

"I'm glad you told me who she is because I 
never would have guessed it," confessed Peter as 
he studied the newcomer. She did not look at 
all like Weaver. She was dressed in olive-green 
and dull yellow, with white markings on her wings. 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

Peter couldn't help thinking how much easier it 
must be for her than for her handsome husband 
to hide among the green leaves. 

As he watched she flew down to the ground and 
picked up a long piece of grass. "They are build- 
ing here, as sure as you live!" cried Striped 
Chipmunk. "I'm glad of that. Did you ever 
see their nest, Peter? Of course you haven't, 
because you said you had never seen them before. 
Their nest is a wonder, Peter. It really is. It is 
made almost wholly of fine grass and they weave 
it together in the most wonderful way." 

"Do they have a hanging nest like Goldy's?" 
asked Peter a bit timidly. 

"Not such a deep one," replied Striped Chip- 
munk. "They hang it between the twigs near 
the end of a branch, but they bind it more closely 
to the branch and it isn't deep enough to swing as 
Goldy's does." 

Peter had just opened his mouth to ask another 
question when there was a loud sniffing sound 
farther up along the old stone wall. He didn't 
wait to hear it again. He knew that Bowser the 
Hound was coming. 

"Good-by, Striped Chipmunk! This is no 

place for me," whispered Peter and started for 

the dear Old Briar-patch. He was in such a 

hurry to get there that on his way across the Green 


More of the Blackbird Family 

Meadows he almost ran into Jimmy Skunk before 
he saw him. 

"What's your hurry, Peter?" demanded 

"Bowser the Hound almost found me up in the 
Old Orchard," panted Peter. "It's a wonder he 
hasn't found my tracks. I expect he will any 
minute. I'm glad to see you, Jimmy, but I guess 
I'd better be moving along." 

"Don't be in such a hurry, Peter. Don't be 
in such a hurry," replied Jimmy, who himself 
never hurries. "Stop and talk a bit. That old 
nuisance won't bother you as long as you are 
with me." 

Peter hesitated. He wanted to gossip, but he 
still felt nervous about Bowser the Hound. How- 
ever, as he heard nothing of Bowser's great voice, 
telling all the world that he had found Peter's 
tracks, he decided to stop a few minutes. "What 
are you doing down here on the Green Meadows ?" 
he demanded. 

'Jimmy grinned. "I'm looking for grasshoppers 
and grubs, if you must know," said he. "And 
I've just got a notion I may find some fresh eggs. 
I don't often eat them, but once in a while one 
tastes good." 

"If you ask me, it's a funny place to be looking 
for eggs down here on the Green Meadows," re- 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

plied Peter. "When I want a thing I look for it 
where it is likely to be found." 

"Just so, Peter; just so," retorted Jimmy 
Skunk, nodding his head with approval. "That's 
why I am here." 

Peter looked puzzled. He was puzzled. But 
before he could ask another question a rollicking 
song caused both of them to look up. There on 
quivering wings in mid-air was the singer. He 
was dressed very much like Jimmy Skunk him- 
self, in black and, white, save that in places 
the white had a tinge of yellow, especially 
on the back of his neck. It was Bubbling 
Bob the Bobolink. And how he did sing ! It 
seemed as if the notes fairly tumbled over each 

Jimmy Skunk raised himself on his hind-legs a 
little to see just where Bubbling Bob dropped down 
in the grass. Then Jimmy began to move in that 
direction. Suddenly Peter understood. He re- 
membered that Bubbling Bob's nest is always on 
the ground. It was his eggs that Jimmy Skunk 
was looking for. 

"You don't happen to have seen Mrs. Bob 
anywhere around here, do you, Peter?" asked 
Jimmy, trying to speak carelessly. 

"No," replied Peter. "If I had I wouldn't 
tell you where. You ought to be ashamed, 


He is dressed in black and yellowish 

More of the Blackbird Family 

Jimmy Skunk, to think of robbing such a beautiful 
singer as Bubbling Bob." 

"Pooh!" retorted Jimmy. "What's the 
harm? If I find those eggs he and Mrs. Bob 
could simply build another nest and lay some 
more. They won't be any the worse off, and I 
will have had a good breakfast." 

"But think of all the work they would have to 
do to build another nest," replied Peter. 

"I should worry," retorted Jimmy Skunk. 
"Any one who can spend so much time singing 
can afford to do a little extra work." 

"You're horrid, Jimmy Skunk. You're just 
horrid," said Peter. "I hope you won't find a 
single egg, so there !" 

With this, Peter once more headed for the dear 
Old Briar-patch, while Jimmy Skunk continued 
toward the place where Bubbling Bob had disap- 
peared in the long grass. Peter went only a short 
distance and then sat up to watch Jimmy Skunk. 
Just before Jimmy reached the place where Bub- 
bling Bob had disappeared, the latter mounted 
into the air again, pouring out his rollicking song 
as if there were no room in his heart for anything 
but happiness. Then he saw Jimmy Skunk and 
became very much excited. He flew down in 
the grass a little farther on and then up again* 
and began to scold. 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

It looked very much as if he had gone down in 
the grass to warn Mrs. Bob. Evidently Jimmy 
thought so, for he at once headed that way. 
Then Bubbling Bob did the same thing all over 
again. Peter grew anxious. He knew just how 
patient Jimmy Skunk could be, and he very much 
feared that Jimmy would find that nest. Pres- 
ently he grew tired of watching and started on 
for the dear Old Briar-patch. Just before he 
reached it a brown bird, who reminded him some- 
what of Mrs. Redwing and Sally Sly the Cowbird, 
though she was smaller, ran across the path in 
front of him and then flew up to the top of a last 
year's mullein stalk. It was Mrs. Bobolink. 
Peter knew her well, for he and she were very good 

"Oh!" cried Peter. "What are you doing 
here? Don't you know that Jimmy Skunk is 
hunting for your nest over there? Aren't you 
worried to death ? I would be if I were in your 

Mrs. Bob chuckled. "Isn't he a dear? And 
isn't he smart?" said she, meaning Bubbling Bob, 
of course, and not Jimmy Skunk. "Just see him 
lead that black-and-white robber away." 

Peter stared at her for a full minute. "Do 
you mean to say," said he, "that your nest isn't 
over there at all?" 

More of the Blackbird Family 

Mrs. Bob chuckled harder than ever. "Of 
course it isn't over there," said she. 

"Then where is it?" demanded Peter. 

"That's telling," replied Mrs. Bob. "It isn't 
over there, and it isn't anywhere near there. But 
where it is is Bob's secret and mine, and we mean 
to keep it. Now I must go get something to eat," 
and with a hasty farewell Mrs. Bobolink flew over 
to the other side of the dear Old Briar-patch. 

Peter remembered that he had seen Mrs. Bob 
running along the ground before she flew up to 
the old mullein stalk. He went back to the spot 
where he had first seen her and hunted all around 
in the grass, but without success. You see, Mrs. 
Bobolink had been quite as clever in fooling Peter 
as Bubbling Bob had been m_fooling Jimmy 
Skunk. , 




"Bos BOB WHITE! Bob Bob White! 
Bob Bob White!" clear and sweet, that call 
floated over to the dear Old Briar-patch until 
Peter could stand it no longer. He felt that he 
just had to go over and pay an early morning call 
on one of his very best friends, who at this season 
of the year delights in whistling his own name 
Bob White, j 

"I suppose," muttered Peter, "that Bob White 
has got a nest. I wish he would show it to me. 
He's terribly secretive about it. Last year I 
hunted for his nest until my feet were sore, but it 
wasn't the least bit of use. Then one morning 
I met Mrs. Bob White with fifteen babies out for 
a walk. How she could hide a nest with fifteen 
eggs in it is more than I can understand." 

Peter left the Old Briar-patch and started off 
over the Green Meadows towards the Old Pasture. 
As he drew near the fence between the Green 
Meadows and the Old Pasture he saw Bob White 
sitting on one of the posts, whistling with all his 
might. On another post near him sat another 

Bob White and Carol the Meadow Lark 

bird very near the size of Welcome Robin. He 
also was telling all the world of his happiness. 
It was Carol the Meadow Lark. 

Peter was so intent watching these two friends 
of his that he took no heed to his footsteps. Sud- 
denly there was a whirr from almost under his 
very nose and he stopped short, so startled that 
he almost squealed right out. In a second he 
recognized Mrs. Meadow Lark. He watched her 
fly over to where Carol was singing. Her stout 
little wings moved swiftly for a moment or two, 
then she sailed on without moving them at all. 
Then they fluttered rapidly again until she was 
flying fast enough to once more sail on them out- 
stretched. The white outer feathers of her tail 
showed clearly and reminded Peter of the tail of 
Sweetvoice the Vesper Sparrow, only of course 
it was ever so much bigger. 

Peter sat still until Mrs. Meadow Lark had 
alighted on the fence near Carol. Then he pre- 
pared to hurry on, for he was anxious for a bit of 
gossip with these good friends of his. But just 
before he did this he just happened to glance down 
and there, almost at his very feet, he caught sight 
of something that made him squeal right out. 
It was a nest with four of the prettiest eggs Peter 
ever had seen. They were white with brown spots 
all over them. Had it not been for the eggs he 

Tlie Burgess Bird Book for Children 

never would have seen that nest, never in the 
world. It was made of dry, brown grass and was 
cunningly hidden in a little clump of dead grass 
which fell over it so as to almost completely hide 
it. But the thing that surprised Peter most was 
the clever way in which the approach to it was 
hidden. It was by means of a regular little tunnel 
of grass. 

"Oh!" cried Peter, and his eyes sparkled with 
pleasure. "This must be the nest of Mrs. Meadow 
Lark. No wonder I have never been able to find 
it when I have looked for it. It is just luck and 
nothing else that I have found it this time. I 
think it is perfectly wonderful that Mrs. Meadow 
Lark can hide her home in such a way. I do hope 
Jimmy Skunk isn't anywhere around." 

Peter sat up straight and anxiously looked this 
way and that way. Jimmy Skunk was nowhere 
to be seen and Peter gave a little sigh of relief. 
Very carefully he walked around that nest and its 
little tunnel, then hurried over toward the fence 
as fast as he could go. 

"It's perfectly beautiful, Carol!" he cried, 
just as soon as he was near enough. "And I won't 
tell a single soul !" 

"I hope not. I certainly hope not," cried Mrs. 
Meadow Lark in an anxious tone. "I never 
would have another single easy minute if I thought 

CAROL THE MEADOW LARK. You will know him by the black cres- 
cent on his yellow breast, and the white outer feathers of his rather short tail 
when he flies. 

Bob White and Carol the Meadow Lark 

you would tell a living soul about my nest. 
Promise that you won't, Peter. Cross your heart 
and promise that you won't." 

Peter promptly crossed his heart and promised 
that he wouldn't tell a single soul. Mrs. Meadow 
Lark seemed to feel better. Right away she 
flew back and Peter turned to watch her. He 
saw her disappear in the grass, but it wasn't 
where he had found the nest. Peter waited a 
few minutes, thinking that he would see her rise 
into the air again and fly over to the nest. But 
he waited in vain. Then with a puzzled look on 
his face, he turned to look up at Carol. 

Carol's eyes twinkled. "I know what you're 
thinking, Peter," he chuckled. "You are think- 
ing that it is funny Mrs. Meadow Lark didn't 
go straight back to our nest when she seemed so 
anxious about it. I would have you to know that 
she is too clever to do anything so foolish as that. 
She knows well enough that somebody might see 
her and so find our secret. She has walked there 
from the place where you saw her disappear in 
the grass. That is the way we always do when 
we go to our nest. One never can be too careful 
these days." 

Then Carol began to pour out his happiness 
once more, quite as if nothing had interrupted 
his song. 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children ' 

Somehow Peter never before had realized how 
handsome Carol the Meadow Lark was. As he 
faced Peter, the latter saw a beautiful yellow 
throat and waistcoat, with a broad black crescent 
on his breast. There was a yellow line above each 
eye. His back was of brown with black mark- 
ings. His sides were whitish, with spots and 
streaks of black. The outer edges of his tail were 
white. Altogether he was really handsome, far 
handsomer than one would suspect, seeing him 
at a distance. 

Having found out Carol's secret, Peter was 
doubly anxious to find Bob White's home, so he 
hurried over to the post where Bob was whistling 
with all his might. "Bob!" cried Peter. "I've 
just found Carol's nest and I've promised to keep 
it a secret. Won't you show me your nest, too, 
if I'll promise to keep that a secret?" 

Bob threw back his head and laughed joyously. 
"You ought to know, Peter, by this time," said 
he, "that there are secrets never to be told to 
anybody. My nest is one of these. If you find 
it, all right; but I wouldn't show it to my very 
best friend, and I guess I haven't any better friend 
than you, Peter." Then from sheer happiness he 
whistled, "Bob White! Bob Bob White!" 
with all his might. 

Peter was disappointed and a little put out. 

Bob White and Carol the Meadow Lark 

"I guess," said he, "I could find it if I wanted to. 
I guess it isn't any better hidden than Mrs. Meadow 
Lark's, and I found that. Some folks aren't as 
smart as they think they are." 

Bob White, who is sometimes called Quail and 
sometimes called Partridge, and who is neither, 
chuckled heartily. " Go ahead, old Mr. Curiosity, 
go ahead and hunt all you please," said he. "It's 
funny to me how some folks think themselves 
smart when the truth is they simply. have been 
lucky. You know well enough that you just 
happened to find Carol's nest. If you happen to 
find mine, I won't have a word to say." 

Bob White took a long breath, tipped his head 
back until his bill was pointing right up in the 
blue, blue sky, and with all his might whistled his 
name, "Bob Bob White ! Bob Bob White !" 

As Peter looked at him it came over him that 
Bob White was the plumpest bird of his acquaint- 
ance. He was so plump that his body seemed 
almost round. The shortness of his tail added 
to this effect, for Bob has a very short tail. The 
upper part of his coat was a handsome reddish- 
brown with dark streaks and light edgings. His 
sides and the upper part of his breast were of the 
same handsome reddish-brown, while underneath 
he was whitish with little bars of black. His 
throat was white, and above each eye was a broad 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

white stripe. His white throat was bordered with 
black, and a band of black divided the white of 
the throat from the white line above each eye. 
The top of his head was mixed black and brown. 
Altogether he was a handsome little fellow in a 
modest way. 

Suddenly Bob White stopped whistling and 
looked down at Peter with a twinkle in his eyes. 
"Why don't you go hunt for that nest, Peter?" 
said he. 

"I'm going," replied Peter rather shortly, for 
he knew that Bob knew that he hadn't the least 
idea where to look. It might be somewhere on 
the Green Meadows or it might be in the Old 
Pasture ; Bob hadn't given the least hint. Peter 
had a feeling that that nest wasn't far away and 
that it was on the Green Meadows, so he began 
to hunt, running aimlessly this way and that way, 
all the time feeling very foolish, for of course he 
knew that Bob White was watching him and 
chuckling down inside. 

It was very warm down there on the Green 
Meadows, and Peter grew hot and tired. Finally 
he decided to run up in the Old Pasture to rest 
in the shade of an old bramble-tangle there. Just 
the other side of the fence was a path made by 
the cows and often used by Farmer Brown's boy 
and Reddy Fox and others who visited the Old 

Bob White and Carol the Meadow Lark 

Pasture. Along this Peter scampered, lipperty- 
lipperty-lip, on his way to the bramble-tangle. 
He didn't look either to right or left. It didn't 
occur to him that there would be any use at all, 
for of course no one would build a nest near a path 
where people passed to and fro every day. 

And so it was that in his happy-go-lucky way 
Peter scampered right past 'a clump of tall weeds 
close beside the path without the least suspicion 
that cleverly hidden in it was the very thing he 
was looking for. With laughter in her eyes, shrewd 
little Mrs. Bob White, with sixteen white eggs 
under her, watched him pass. She had chosen 
that very place for her nest because she knew that 
it was the last place any one would expect to find 
it. The very fact that it seemed the most danger- 
ous place she could have chosen made it the safest. 




JOHNNY and Polly Chuck had made their home 
between the roots of an old apple-tree in the far 
corner of the Old Orchard. You know they have 
their bedroom way down in the ground, and it is 
reached by a long hall. They had dug their home 
between the roots of that old apple-tree because 
they had discovered that there was just room 
enough between those spreading roots for them to 
pass in and out, and there wasn't room to dig 
the entrance any larger. So they felt quite safe 
from Reddy Fox and Bowser the Hound, either 
of whom would have delighted to dig them out 
but for those roots. 

Right in front of their doorway was a very nice 
doorstep of shining sand where Johnny Chuck 
delighted to sit when he had a full stomach and 
nothing else to do. Johnny's nearest neighbors 
had made their home only about five feet above 
Johnny's head when he sat up on his doorstep. 
They were Skimmer the Tree Swallow and his 
trim little wife, and the doorway of their home 
was a little round hole in the trunk of that apple- 

A Swallow and One Who Isn't ] 

tree, a hole which had been cut some years before 
by one of the Woodpeckers. I 

Johnny and Skimmer were the best of friends. 
Johnny used to delight in watching Skimmer dart 
out from beneath the branches of the trees and 
wheel and turn and glide, now sometimes high in 
the blue, blue sky, and again just skimming the 
tops of the grass, on wings which seemed never 
to tire. But he liked still better the bits of 
gossip when Skimmer would sit in his doorway 
and chat about his neighbors of the Old Orchard 
and his adventures out in the Great World during 
his long journeys to and from the far-away South. 

To Johnny Chuck's way of thinking, there was 
no one quite so trim and neat appearing as Skim- 
mer with his snowy white breast and blue-green 
back and wings. Two things Johnny always 
used to wonder at, Skimmer's small bill and short 
legs. Finally he ventured to ask Skimmer about 

"Gracious, Johnny!" exclaimed Skimmer. "I 
wouldn't have a big bill for anything. I wouldn't 
know what to do with it ; it would be in the way. 
You see, I get nearly all my food in the air when 
I am flying, mosquitoes and flies and all sorts of 
small insects with wings. I don't have to pick 
them off trees and bushes or from the ground and 
so I don't need any more of a bill than I have. 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

It's the same way with my legs. Have you ever 
seen me walking on the ground?" 

Johnny thought a moment. "No," said he, 
"now you speak of it, I never have." 

"And have you ever seen me hopping about in 
the branches of a tree?" persisted Skimmer. 

Again Johnny Chuck admitted that he never 

"The only use I have for feet," continued Skim- 
mer, "is for perching while I rest. I don't need 
long legs for walking or hopping about, so Mother 
Nature has made my legs very short. You see I 
spend most of my time in the air." 

"I suppose it's the same way with your cousin, 
Sooty the Chimney Swallow," said Johnny. 

"That shows just how much some people know ! " 
twittered Skimmer indignantly. "The idea of 
calling Sooty a Swallow ! The very idea ! I'd 
have you to know, Johnny Chuck, that Sooty isn't 
even related to me. He's a Swift, and not a 

"He looks like a Swallow," protested Johnny 

"He doesn't either. You just think he does 
because he happens to spend most of his time in 
the air the way we Swallows do," sputtered Skim- 
mer. "The Swallow family never would admit 
such a homely looking fellow as he is as a member. 
[ 108 1 ' 

A Swallow and One Who Isn't 

"Tut, tut, tut, tut ! I do believe Skimmer is 
jealous," cried Jenny Wren, who had happened 
along just in time to hear Skimmer's last remarks. 

"Nothing of the sort," declared Skimmer, 
growing still more indignant. "I'd like to know 
what there is about Sooty the Chimney Swift 
that could possibly make a Swallow jealous." 

Jenny Wren cocked her tail up in that saucy 
way of hers and winked at Johnny Chuck. "The 
way he can fly," said she softly. 

"The way he can fly!" sputtered Skimmer. 
"The way he can fly ! Why, there never was a 
day in his life that he could fly like a Swallow. 
There isn't any one more graceful on the wing 
than I am, if I do say so. And there isn't any one 
more ungraceful than Sooty." 

Just then there was a shrill chatter overhead 
and all looked up to see Sooty the Chimney Swift 
racing through the sky as if having the very best 
time in the world. His wings would beat furiously 
and then he would glide very much as you or I 
would on skates. It was quite true that he wasn't 
graceful. But he could twist and turn and cut 
up all sorts of antics, such as Skimmer never 
dreamed of doing. 

"He can use first one wing and then the other, 
while you have to use both wings at once," per- 
sisted Jenny Wren. "You couldn't, to save your 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

life, go straight down into a chimney, and you 
know it, Skimmer. He can do things with his 
wings which you can't do, nor any other bird." 

"That may be true, but just the same I'm not 
the least teeny weeny bit jealous of him," said 
Skimmer, and darted away to get beyond the 
reach of Jenny's sharp tongue. 

"Is it really true that he and Sooty are not 
related?" asked Johnny Chuck, as they watched 
Skimmer cutting airy circles high up in the sky. 

Jenny nodded. "It's quite true, Johnny," 
said she. "Sooty belongs to another family alto- 
gether. He's a funny fellow. Did you ever in 
your life see such narrow wings? And his tail 
is hardly worth calling a tail." 

Johnny Chuck laughed. "'Way up there in 
the air he looks almost alike at both ends," said 
he. "Is he all black?" 

"He isn't black at all," declared Jenny. "He 
is sooty -brown, rather grayish on the throat and 
breast. Speaking of that tail of his, the feathers 
end in little, sharp, stiff points. He uses them in 
the same way that Downy the Woodpecker uses his 
tail feathers when he braces himself with them on 
the trunk of a tree." 

"But I've never seen Sooty on the trunk of a 
tree," protested Johnny Chuck. "In fact, I've 
never seen him anywhere but in the air." 

A Swallow and One Who Isn't 

"And you never will," snapped Jenny. "The 
only place he ever alights is inside a chimney or 
inside a hollow tree. There he clings to the side 
just as Downy the Woodpecker clings to the 
trunk of a tree." 

Johnny looked as if he didn't quite believe this. 
"If that's the case where does he nest?" he de- 
manded. "And where does he sleep?" ; 

"In a chimney, stupid. In a chimney, of 
course," retorted Jenny Wren. "He fastens his 
nest right to the inside of a chimney. He makes 
a regular little basket of twigs and fastens it to 
the side of the chimney." 

"Are you trying to stuff me with nonsense?" 
asked Johnny Chuck indignantly. "How can 
he fasten his nest to the side of a chimney unless 
there's a little shelf to put it on ? And if he never 
alights, how does he get the little sticks to make a 
nest of? I'd just like to know how you expect 
me to believe any such story as that." 

Jenny Wren's sharp little eyes snapped. "If 
you half used your eyes you wouldn't have to 
ask me how he gets those little sticks," she sput- 
tered. "If you had watched him when he was 
flying close to the tree tops you would have seen 
him clutch little dead twigs in his claws and snap 
them off without stopping. That's the way he 
gets his little sticks, Mr. Smarty. He fastens 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

them together with a sticky substance he has in 
his mouth, and he fastens the nest to the side of 
the chimney in the same way. You can believe 
it or not, but it's so." 

"I believe it, Jenny, I believe it," replied 
Johnny Chuck very humbly. "If you please, 
Jenny, does Sooty get all his food in the air too ? " 

"Of course," replied Jenny tartly. "He eats 
nothing but insects, and he catches them flying. 
Now I must get back to my duties at home." 

"Just tell me one more thing," cried Johnny 
Chuck hastily. "Hasn't Sooty any near relatives 
as most birds have?" 

"He hasn't any one nearer than some sort of 
second cousins, Boomer the Nighthawk, Whip- 
poorwill, and Hummer the Hummingbird." 

"What?" cried Johnny Chuck, quite as if he 
couldn't believe he had heard aright. "Did you 
say Hummer the Hummingbird?" But he got 
no reply, for Jenny Wren was already beyond 



"I DON'T believe it," muttered Johnny Chuck 
out loud. "I don't believe Jenny Wren knows 
what she's talking about." 

"What is it Jenny Wren has said that you don't 
believe?" demanded Skimmer the Tree Swallow, 
as he once more settled himself in his doorway. 

"She said that Hummer the Hummingbird is a 
sort of second cousin to Sooty the Chimney Swift," 
replied Johnny Chuck. 

"Well, it's so, if you don't believe it," declared 
Skimmer. "I don't see that that is any harder 
to believe than that you are cousin to Striped 
Chipmunk and Happy Jack the Gray Squirrel. 
To look at you no one would ever think you are a 
member of the Squirrel family, but you must ad- 
mit that you are." 

Johnny Chuck nodded his head thoughtfully. 
"Yes," said he, "I am, even if I don't look it. 
This is a funny world, isn't it ? You can't always 
tell by a person's looks who he may be related to. 
Now that I've found out that Sooty isn't related 
to you and is related to Hummer, I'll never dare 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

guess again about anybody's relatives. I always 
supposed Twitter the Martin to be a relative of 
yours, but now that I've learned that Sooty isn't, 
I suspect that Twitter isn't either." 

"Oh, yes, he is," replied Skimmer promptly. 
"He's the largest of the Swallow family, and we all 
feel very proud of him. Everybody loves him." 

"Is he as black as he looks, flying round up in 
the air ? " asked Johnny Chuck. "He never comes 
down here as you do where a fellow can get a good 
look at him." 

"Yes," replied Skimmer, "he dresses all in 
black, but it is a beautiful blue-black, and when 
the sun shines on his back it seems to be almost 
purple. That is why some folks call him the 
Purple Martin. He is one of the most social 
fellows I know of. I like a home by myself, such 
as I've got here, but Twitter loves company. 
He likes to live in an apartment house with a lot 
of his own kind. That is why he always looks for 
one of those houses with a lot of rooms in it, such 
as Farmer Brown's boy has put up on the top of 
that tall pole out in his back yard. He pays for 
all the trouble Farmer Brown's boy took to put 
that house up. If there is anybody who catches 
more flies and winged insects than Twitter, I 
don't know who it is." 

"How about me?" demanded a new voice, 

SKIMMER THE TREE SWALLOW. When you see a Swallow with pure 
white breast and blue-green back it is Skimmer. 

FORKTAIL THE BARN SWALLOW. His long forked tail is all you 
need to see to know him. 

A Robber in" the Old Orchard 

as a graceful form skimmed over Johnny Chuck's 
head, and turning like a flash, came back. It was 
Forktail the Barn Swallow, the handsomest and 
one of the most graceful of all the Swallow family. 
He passed so close to Johnny that the latter had 
a splendid chance to see and admire his glistening 
steel-blue back and the beautiful chestnut-brown 
of his forehead and throat with its narrow black 
collar, and the brown to buff color of his under 
parts. But the thing that was most striking about 
him was his tail, which was so deeply forked as to 
seem almost like two tails. 

"I would know him as far as I could see him 
just by his tail alone," exclaimed Johnny. "I 
don't know of any other tail at all like it." 

"There isn't any other like it," declared Skim- 
mer. "If Twitter the Martin is the largest of 
our family, Forktail is the handsomest." 

"How about my usefulness?" demanded Fork- 
tail, as he came skimming past again. "Cousin 
Twitter certainly does catch a lot of flies and in- 
sects but I'm willing to go against him any day 
to see who can catch the most." 

With this he darted away. Watching him they 
saw him alight on the top of Farmer Brown's barn. 
"It's funny," remarked Johnny Chuck, "but as 
long as I've known Forktail, and I've known him 
ever since I was big enough to" know anybody, 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

I've never found out where he builds his nest. 
I've seen him skimming over the Green Meadows 
times without number, and often he comes here 
to the Old Orchard as he did just now, but I've 
never seen him stop anywhere except over on 
that barn." 

"That's where he nests," chuckled Skimmer. 

" What ? " cried Johnny Chuck. "Do you mean 
to say he nests on Farmer Brown's barn?" 

"No," replied Skimmer. "He nests in it. 
That's why he is called the Barn Swallow, and 
why you never have seen his nest. If you'll just 
go over to Farmer Brown's barn and look up in 
the roof, you'll see Forktail's nest there some- 

! "Me go over to Farmer Brown's barn!" ex- 
claimed Johnny Chuck. "Do you think I'm 

Skimmer chuckled. "Forktail isn't crazy," said 
he, "and he goes in and out of that barn all day 
long. I must say I wouldn't care to build in such 
a place myself, but he seems to like it. There's 
one thing about it, his home is warm and dry and 
comfortable, no matter what the weather is. I 
wouldn't trade with him, though. No, sir, I 
wouldn't trade with him for anything. Give me 
a hollow in a tree well lined with feathers to a nest 
made of mud and straw, even if it is feather-lined." 

A Robber in the Old Orchard 

"Do you mean that such a neat-looking, hand- 
some fellow as Forktail uses mud in his nest?" 
cried Johnny. 

Skimmer bobbed his head. " He does just that," 
said he. "He's something like Welcome Robin 
in this respect. I 

But Johnny Chuck never knew what Skimmer 
was going to say next, for Skimmer happened at 
that instant to glance up. For an instant he sat 
motionless with horror, then with a shriek he 
darted out into the air. At the sound of that 
shriek Mrs. Skimmer, who all the time had been 
sitting on her eggs inside the hollow of the tree, 
darted out of the doorway, also shrieking. For 
a moment Johnny Chuck couldn't imagine what 
could be the trouble. Then a slight rustling drew 
his eyes to a crotch in the tree a little above the 
doorway of Skimmer's home. There, partly coiled 
around a branch, with head swaying to and fro, 
eyes glittering and forked tongue darting out and 
in, as he tried to look down into Skimmer's nest, 
was Mr. Blacksnake. 

It seemed to Johnny as if in a minute every bird 
in the Old Orchard had arrived on the scene. 
Such a shrieking and screaming as there was ! 
First one and then another would dart at Mr. 
Blacksnake, only to lose courage at the last second 
and turn aside. Poor Skimmer and his little wife 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

were frantic. They did their utmost to distract 
Mr. Blacksnake's attention, darting almost into 
his very face and then away again before he could 
strike. But Mr. Blacksnake knew that they were 
powerless to hurt him, and he knew that there were 
eggs in that nest. There is nothing he loves 
better than eggs unless it is a meal of baby birds. 
Beyond hissing angrily two or three times he paid 
no attention to Skimmer or his friends, but con- 
tinued to creep nearer the entrance to that nest. 
At last he reached a position where he could 
put his head in the doorway. As he did so, 
Skimmer and Mrs. Skimmer each gave a little 
cry of hopelessness and despair. But no sooner 
had his head disappeared in the hole in the old 
apple-tree than Scrapper the Kingbird struck him 
savagely. Instantly Mr. Blacksnake withdrew 
his head, hissing fiercely, and struck savagely 
at the birds nearest him. Several times the same 
thing happened. No sooner would his head 
disappear in that hole than Scrapper or one of 
the other of Skimmer's friends, braver than the 
rest, would dart in and peck at him viciously, and 
all the time all the birds were screaming as only 
excited feathered folk can. Johnny Chuck was 
quite as excited as his feathered friends, and so 
intent watching the hated black robber that he 
had eyes for nothing else. Suddenly he heard 

A Robber in the Old Orchard 

a step just behind him. He turned his head and 
then frantically dived head first down into his 
hole. He had looked right up into the eyes of 
Farmer Brown's boy ! 

"Ha, ha!" cried Farmer Brown's boy, "I 
thought as much!" And . with a long switch he 
struck Mr. Blacksnake just as the latter had put 
his head in that doorway, resolved to get those 
eggs this time. But when he felt that switch 
and heard the voice of Farmer Brown's boy he 
changed his mind in a flash. He simply let go 
his hold on that tree and dropped. The instant 
he touched the ground he was off like a shot for 
the safety of the old stone wall, Farmer Brown's 
boy after him. Farmer Brown's boy didn't in- 
tend to kill Mr. Blacksnake, but he did want to 
give him such a fright that he wouldn't visit the 
Old Orchard again in a hurry, and this he quite 
succeeded in doing. 

No sooner had Mr. Blacksnake disappeared 
than all the birds set up such a rejoicing that you 
would have thought they, and not Farmer Brown's 
boy, had saved the eggs of Mr. and Mrs. Skimmer. 
Listening to them, Johnny Chuck just had to 




BY the sounds of rejoicing "among the feathered 
folks of the Old Orchard Johnny Chuck knew that 
it was quite safe for him to come out. He was 
eager to tell Skimmer the Tree Swallow how glad 
he was that Mr. Blacksnake had been driven 
away before he could get Skimmer's eggs. As 
he poked his head out of his doorway he became 
aware that something was still wrong in the Old 
Orchard. Into the glad chorus there broke a 
note of distress and sorrow. Johnny instantly 
recognized the voices of Welcome Robin and 
Mrs. Robin. There is not one among his feathered 
neighbors who can so express worry and sorrow 
as can the Robins. 

Johnny was just in time to see all the birds 
hurrying over to that part of the Old Orchard 
where the Robins had built their home. The 
rejoicing suddenly gave way to cries of indigna- 
tion and anger, and Johnny caught the words, 
"Robber! Thief! Wretch!" It appeared that 
there was just as much excitement over there as 
there had been when Mr. Blacksnake had been 

M ore Robbers 

discovered trying to rob Skimmer and Mrs. Skim- 
mer. It couldn't be Mr. Blacksnake again, be- 
cause Farmer Brown's boy had chased him in 
quite another direction. 

"What is it now?" asked Johnny of Skimmer, 
who was still excitedly discussing with Mrs. 
Skimmer their recent fright. 

"I don't know, but I'm going to find out," 
replied Skimmer and darted away. 

Johnny Chuck waited patiently. The excite- 
ment among the birds seemed to increase, and 
the chattering and angry cries grew louder. 
Only the voices of Welcome and Mrs. Robin were 
not angry. They were mournful, as if Welcome 
and Mrs. Robin were heartbroken. Presently 
Skimmer came back to tell Mrs. Skimmer the 

"The Robins have lost their eggs!" he cried 
excitedly. "All four have been broken and eaten. 
Mrs. Robin left them to come over here to help 
drive away Mr. Blacksnake, and while she was 
here some one ate those eggs. Nobody knows 
who it could have been, because all the birds of 
the Old Orchard were over here at that time. It 
might have been Chatterer the Red Squirrel, 
or it might have been Sammy Jay, or it might 
have been Creaker the Grackle, or it might have 
been Blacky the Crow. Whoever it was just took 
[ 121 ] 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

that chance to sneak over there and rob that nest 
when there was no one to see him." 

Just then from over towards the Green Forest 
sounded a mocking "Caw, caw, caw!" In- 
stantly the noise in the Old Orchard ceased for a 
moment. Then it broke out afresh. There wasn't 
a doubt now in any one's mind. Blacky the Crow 
was the robber. How those tongues did go ! 
There was nothing too bad to say about Blacky. 
And such dreadful things as those birds promised 
to do to Blacky the Crow if ever they should 
catch him in the Old Orchard. 

"Caw, caw, caw!" shouted Blacky from the 
distance, and his voice sounded very much as if 
he thought he had done something very smart. 
It was quite clear that at least he was not sorry 
for what he had done. 

All the birds were so excited and so angry, as 
they gathered around Welcome and Mrs. Robin 
trying to comfort them, that it was some time 
before 'their indignation meeting broke up and 
they returned to their own homes and duties. 
Almost at once there was another cry of distress. 
Mr. and Mrs. Chebec had been robbed of their 
eggs ! While they had been attending the in- 
dignation meeting at the home of the Robins, a 
thief had taken the chance to steal their eggs and 
get away. 


More Robbers 

Of course right away all the birds hurried over 
to sympathize with the Chebecs and to repeat 
against the unknown thief all the threats they 
had made against Blacky the Crow. They knew 
it couldn't have been Blacky this time because they 
had heard Blacky cawing over on the edge of the 
Green Forest. In the midst of the excited dis- 
cussion as to who the thief was, Weaver the 
Orchard Oriole spied a blue and white feather on 
the ground just below Chebec's nest. 

"It was Sammy Jay ! There is no doubt about 
it, it was Sammy Jay !" he cried. 

At the sight of that telltale feather all the birds 
knew that Weaver was right, and led by Scrapper 
the Kingbird they began a noisy search of the 
Old Orchard for the sly robber. But Sammy 
wasn't to be found, and they soon gave up the 
search, none daring to stay longer away from his 
own home lest something should happen there. 
Welcome and Mrs. Robin continued to cry mourn- 
fully, but little Mr. and Mrs. Chebec bore their 
trouble almost silently. 

"There is one thing about it," said Mr. Chebec 
to his sorrowful little wife, "that egg of Sally 
Sly 's went with the rest, and we won't have to raise 
that bothersome orphan." 

"That's true," said she. "There is no use 
crying over what can't be helped. It is a waste 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

of time to sit around crying. Come on, Chebec, 
let's look for a place to build another nest. Next 
time I won't leave the eggs unwatched for a 

Meanwhile Jenny Wren's tongue was fairly 
flying as she chattered to Peter Rabbit, who had 
come up in the midst of the excitement and of 
course had to know all about it. 

"Blacky the Crow has a heart as black as his 
coat, and his cousin Sammy Jay isn't much better," 
declared Jenny. "They belong to a family of 

"Wait a minute," cried Peter. "Do you mean 
to say that Blacky the Crow and Sammy Jay are 

"For goodness' sake, Peter!" exclaimed Jenny, 
"do you mean to say that you don't know that? 
Of course they're cousins. They don't look much 
alike, but they belong to the same family. I 
would expect almost anything bad of any one as 
black as Blacky the Crow. But how such a 
handsome fellow as Sammy Jay can do such dread- 
ful things I don't understand. He isn't as bad 
as Blacky, because he does do a lot of good. He 
destroys a lot of caterpillars and other pests. 

" There are no sharper eyes anywhere than those 
of Sammy Jay, and I'll have to say this for him, 
that whenever he discovers any danger he always 
[ 124 J 

More Robbers 

gives us warning. He has saved the lives of a 
good many of us feathered folks in this way. If 
it wasn't for this habit of stealing our eggs I 
wouldn't have a word to say against him, but at 
that, he isn't as bad as Blacky the Crow. They 
say Blacky does some good by destroying white 
grubs and some other harmful pests but he's a 
regular cannibal, for he is just as fond of young 
birds as he is of eggs, and the harm he does in 
this way is more than the good he does in other 
ways. He's bold, black, and bad, if you ask 

Remembering her household duties, Jenny Wren 
disappeared inside her house in her usual abrupt 
fashion. Peter hung around for a while but 
finding no one who would take the time to talk to 
him he suddenly decided to go over to the Green 
Forest to look for some of his friends there. He 
had gone but a little way in the Green Forest 
when he caught a glimpse of a blue form stealing 
away through the trees. He knew it in an in- 
stant, for there is no one with such a coat but 
Sammy Jay. Peter glanced up in the tree from 
which Sammy had flown and there he saw a nest 
in a crotch halfway up. "I wonder," thought 
Peter, "if Sammy was stealing eggs there, or if 
that is his own nest." Then he started after 
Sammy as fast as he could go, lipperty-lipperty- 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

lip. As he ran he happened to look back and 
was just in time to see Mrs. Jay slip on to the nest. 
Then Peter knew that he had discovered Sammy's 
home. He chuckled as he ran. 

"I've found out your secret, Sammy Jay!" 
cried Peter when at last he caught up with Sammy. 

"Then I hope you'll be gentleman enough to 
keep it," grumbled Sammy, looking not at all 

"Certainly," replied Peter with dignity. "I 
wouldn't think of telling any one. My, what a 
handsome fellow you are, Sammy." 

Sammy looked pleased. He is a little bit vain, 
is Sammy Jay. There is no denying that he is 
handsome. He is just a bit bigger than Welcome 
Robin. His back is grayish-blue. His tail is a 
bright blue crossed with little black bars and 
edged with white. His wings are blue with white 
and black bars. His throat and breast are a soft 
grayish-white, and he wears a collar of black. 
On his head he wears a pointed cap, a very con- 
venient cap, for at times he draws it down so that 
it is not pointed at all. 

"Why did you steal Mrs. Chebec's eggs?" 
demanded Peter abruptly. 

Sammy didn't look the least bit put out. "Be- 
cause I like eggs," he replied promptly. "If 
people will leave their eggs unguarded they must 

More Robbers 

expect to lose them. How did you know I took 
those eggs?" :> 

"Never mind, Sammy; never mind. A little 
bird told me," retorted Peter mischievously. 

Sammy opened his mouth for a sharp reply, but 
instead he uttered a cry of warning. "Run, 
Peter ! Run ! Here comes Reddy Fox !" he cried. 

Peter dived headlong under a great pile of brush. 
There he was quite safe. While he waited for 
Reddy Fox to go away he thought about Sammy 
Jay. "It's funny," he mused, "how so much 
good and so much bad can be mixed together. 
Sammy Jay stole Chebec's eggs, and then he saved 
my life. I just know he would have done as 
much for Mr. and Mrs. Chebec, or for any other 
feathered neighbor. He can only steal eggs for a 
little while in the spring. I guess on the whole 
he does more good than harm. I'm going to 
think so anyway." 

Peter was quite right. Sammy Jay does do 
more good than harm. 




REDDY Fox wasted very little time waiting for 
Peter Rabbit to come out from under that pile 
of brush where he had hidden at Sammy Jay's 
warning. After making some terrible threats 
just to try to frighten Peter, he trotted away to 
look for some Mice. Peter didn't mind those 
threats at all. He was used to them. He knew 
that he was safe where he was, and all he had to 
do was to stay there until Reddy should be so 
far away that it would be safe to come out. 

Just to pass away the time Peter took a little 
nap. When he awoke he sat for a few minutes 
trying to make up his mind where to go and what 
to do next. From 'way over in the direction of 
the Old Pasture the voice of Blacky the Crow 
reached him. Peter pricked up his ears, then 

"Reddy Fox has gone back to the Old Pasture 
and Blacky has discovered him there," he thought 
happily. You see, he understood what Blacky 
was saying. To you or me Blacky would have 
been saying simply, "Caw! N Caw!" But to all 

Some Homes in the Green Forest 

the little people of the Green Forest and Green 
Meadows within hearing he was shouting, "Fox! 

"I wonder," thought Peter, "where Blacky is 
nesting this year. Last year his nest was in a 
tall pine-tree not far from the edge of the Green 
Forest. I believe I'll run over there and see if 
he has a new nest near the old one." 

So Peter scampered over to the tall pine in 
which was Blacky's old nest. As he sat with his 
head tipped back, staring up at it, it struck him 
that that nest didn't look so old, after all. In 
fact, it looked as if it had recently been fixed up 
quite like new. He was wondering about this 
and trying to guess what it meant, when Blacky 
himself alighted close to the edge of it. 

There was something in his bill, though what it 
was Peter couldn't see. Almost at once a black 
head appeared above the edge of the nest and a 
black bill seized the thing which Blacky had 
brought. Then the head disappeared and Blacky 
silently flew away. 

"As sure as I live," thought Peter, "that was 
Mrs. Blacky, and Blacky brought her some food 
so that she would not have to leave those eggs 
she must have up there. He may be the black- 
hearted robber every one says he is, but he cer- 
tainly is a good husband. He's a better husband 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

than some others I know, of whom nothing but 
good is said. It just goes to show that there is 
some good in the very worst folks. Blacky is a 
sly old rascal. Usually he is as noisy as any one 
I know, but he came and went without making 
a sound. Now I think of it, I haven't once heard 
his voice near here this spring. I guess if Farmer 
Brown's boy could find this nest he would get even 
with Blacky for pulling up his corn. I know a lot 
of clever people, but no one quite so clever as 
Blacky the Crow. With all his badness I can't 
help liking him." 

Twice, while Peter watched, Blacky returned 
with food for Mrs. Blacky. Then, tired of keep- 
ing still so long, Peter decided to run over to a 
certain place farther in the Green Forest which 
was seldom visited by any one. It was a place 
Peter usually kept away from. It was pure 
curiosity which led him to go there now. The 
discovery that Blacky the Crow was using his 
old nest had reminded Peter that Redtail the 
Hawk uses his old nest year after year, and he 
wanted to find out if Redtail had come back to it 
this year. 

Halfway over to that lonesome place in the 

Green Forest a trim little bird flew up from the 

ground, hopped from branch to branch of a tree, 

walked along a limb, then from pure happiness 


Some Homes in the Green Forest 

threw back his head and cried, "Teacher, teacher, 
teacher, teacher, teacher !" each time a little louder 
than before. It was Teacher the Oven Bird. 

In his delight at seeing this old friend, Peter 
quite forgot Redtail the Hawk. "Oh, Teacher !" 
cried Peter. "I'm so glad to see you again !" 

Teacher stopped singing and looked down at 
Peter. "If you are so glad why haven't you been 
over to see me before?" he demanded. "I've 
been here for some time." 

Peter looked a little foolish. "The truth is, 
Teacher," said he very humbly, "I have been 
visiting the Old Orchard so much and learning so 
many things that this is the first chance I have 
had to come 'way over here in the Green Forest. 
You see, I have been learning a lot of things about 
you feathered folks, things I hadn't even guessed. 
There is something I wish you'd tell me, Teacher ; 
will you?" 

"That depends on what it is," replied Teacher, 
eyeing Peter a little suspiciously. 

"It is why you are called Oven Bird," said 

"Is that all?" asked Teacher. Then without 
waiting for a reply he added, "It is because of 
the way Mrs. Teacher and I build our nest. 
Some people think it is like an oven and so they 
call us Oven Birds. I think that is a silly name 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

myself, quite as silly as Golden Crowned Thrush, 
which is what some people call me. I'm not a 
Thrush. I'm not even related to the Thrush 
family. I'm a Warbler, a Wood Warbler." 

"I suppose," said Peter, looking at Teacher 
thoughtfully, "they've given you that name be- 
cause you are dressed something like the Thrushes. 
That olive-green coat, and white waistcoat all 
streaked and spotted with black, certainly does 
remind me of the Thrush family. If you were 
not so much smaller than any of the Thrushes 
I should almost think you were one myself. Why, 
you are not very much bigger than Chippy the 
Chipping Sparrow, only you've got longer legs. I 
suppose that's because you spend so much time 
on the ground. I think that just Teacher is the 
best name for you. No one who has once heard 
you could ever mistake you for any one else. 
By the way, Teacher, where did you say your 
nest is?" ft 

"I didn't say," retorted Teacher. "What's 
more, I'm not going to say." 

"Won't you at least tell me if it is in a tree?" 
begged Peter. 

Teacher's eyes twinkled. "I guess it won't 

do any harm to tell you that much," said he. 

"No, it isn't in a tree. It is on the ground and, 

if I do say it, it is as well hidden a nest as anybody 


Some Homes in the Green Forest 

can build. Oh, Peter, watch your step ! Watch 
your step ! " Teacher fairly shrieked this warning. 

Peter, who had just started to hop off to his 
right, stopped short in sheer astonishment. Just 
in front of him was a tiny mound of dead leaves, 
and a few feet beyond Mrs. Teacher was flutter- 
ing about on the ground as if badly hurt. Peter 
simply didn't know what to make of it. Once 
more he made a movement as if to hop. Teacher 
flew right down in front of him. "You'll step 
on my nest !" he cried. 

Peter stared, for he didn't see any nest. He 
said as much. 

"It's under that little mound of leaves right in 
front of your feet!" cried Teacher. "I wasn't 
going to tell you, but I just had to or you cer- 
tainly would have stepped on it." 

Very carefully Peter walked around the little 
bunch of leaves and peered under them from 
the other side. There, sure enough, was a nest 
beneath them, and in it four speckled eggs. "I 
won't tell a soul, Teacher. I promise you I won't 
tell a soul," declared Peter very earnestly. "I 
understand now why you are called Oven Bird, 
but I still like the name Teacher best." 

Feeling that Mr. and Mrs. Teacher would feel 
easier in their minds if he left them, Peter said 
good-by and started on for the lonesome place in 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

the Green Forest where he knew the old nest of 
Redtail the Hawk had been. As he drew near 
the place he kept sharp watch through the tree- 
tops for a glimpse of Redtail. Presently he saw 
him high in the blue sky, sailing lazily in big 
circles. Then Peter became very, very cautious. 
He tiptoed forward, keeping under cover as much 
as possible. At last, peeping out from beneath 
a little hemlock-tree, he could see Redtail's old 
nest. He saw right away that it was bigger than 
it had been when he saw it last. Suddenly there 
was a chorus of hungry cries and Peter saw Mrs. 
Redtail approaching with a Mouse in her claws. 
From where he sat he could see four funny heads 
stretched above the edge of the nest. 

" Redtail is using his old nest again and has got 
a family already," exclaimed Peter. "I guess 
this is no place for me. The sooner I get away 
from here the better." 

Just then Redtail himself dropped down out of 
the blue, blue sky and alighted on a tree close at 
hand. Peter decided that the best thing he could 
do was to sit perfectly still where he was. He 
had a splendid view of Redtail, and he couldn't 
help but admire this big member of the Hawk 
family. The upper parts of his coat were a dark 
grayish-brown mixed with touches of chestnut 
color. The upper part of his breast was streaked 

REDTAIL THE HAWK. This is one of our largest hawks ana may be 
recognized by the chestnut red of his tail. 

Some Homes in the Green Forest 

with grayish-brown and buff, the lower part having 
but few streaks. Below this were black spots 
and bars ending in white. But it was the tail 
which Peter noticed most of all. It was a rich 
reddish-brown with a narrow black band near 
its end and a white tip. Peter understood at 
once why this big Hawk is called Redtail. 

It was not until Mr. and Mrs. Redtail had gone 
in quest of more food for their hungry youngsters 
that Peter dared steal away. As soon as he felt 
it safe to do so, he headed for home as fast as he 
could go, lipperty-lipperty-lip. He knew that he 
wouldn't feel safe until that lonesome place in 
the Green Forest was far behind. 

Yet if the truth be known, Peter had less cause 
to worry than would have been the case had it 
been some other member of the Hawk family 
instead of Redtail. And while Redtail and his 
wife do sometimes catch some of their feathered 
and furred neighbors, and once in a while a 
chicken, they do vastly more good than harm. 




PETER RABBIT'S intentions were of the best. 
Once safely away from that lonesome part of the 
Green Forest where was the home of Redtail 
the Hawk, he intended to go straight back to the 
dear Old Briar-patch. But he was not halfway 
there when from another direction in the Green 
Forest there came a sound that caused him to 
stop short and quite forget all about home. It 
was a sound very like distant thunder. It began 
slowly at first and then went faster and faster. 
Boom Boom Boom Boom-Boom-Boom 
Boo-Boo-B-B-B-B-b-b-b-b-boom ! It was like the 
long roll on a bass drum. 

Peter laughed right out. "That's Strutter the 
Ruffed Grouse!" he cried joyously. "I had for- 
gotten all about him. I certainly must go over 
and pay him a call and find out where Mrs. Grouse 
is. My, how Strutter can drum!" 

Peter promptly headed towards that distant 

thunder. As he drew nearer to it, it sounded 

louder and louder. Presently Peter stopped to 

try to locate exactly the place where that sound, 


A Maker of Thunder and A Friend in Black 

which now was more than ever like thunder, was 
coming from. Suddenly Peter remembered some- 
thing. "I know just where he is," said he to 
himself. "There's a big, mossy, hollow log over 
yonder, and I remember that Mrs. Grouse once 
told me that that is Strutter's thunder log." 

Very, very carefully Peter stole forward, making 
no sound at all. At last he reached a place where 
he could peep out and see that big, mossy, hollow 
log. Sure enough, there was Strutter the Ruffed 
Grouse. When Peter first saw him he was 
crouched on one end of the log, a fluffy ball of 
reddish-brown, black and gray feathers. He was 
resting. Suddenly he straightened up to his full 
height, raised his tail and spread it until it was like 
an open fan above his back. The outer edge was 
gray, then came a broad band of black, followed 
by bands of gray, brown and black. Around his 
neck was a wonderful ruff of black. His reddish- 
brown wings were dropped until the tips nearly 
touched the log. His full breast rounded out and 
was buff color with black markings. He was of 
about the size of the little Bantam hens Peter 
had seen in Farmer Brown's henyard. 

In the most stately way you can imagine Strut- 
ter walked the length of that mossy log. He was 
a perfect picture of pride as he strutted very 
much like Tom Gobbler the big Turkey cock. 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

When he reached the end of the log he suddenly 
dropped his tail, stretched himself to his full 
height and his wings began to beat, first slowly 
then faster and faster, until they were just a blur. 
They seemed to touch above his back but when 
they came down they didn't quite strike his sides. 
It was those fast moving wings that made the 
thunder. It was so loud that Peter almost wanted 
to stop his ears. When it ended Strutter settled 
down to rest and once more appeared like a ball 
of fluffy feathers. His ruff was laid flat. 

Peter watched him thunder several times and 
then ventured to show himself. "Strutter, you 
are wonderful ! simply wonderful ! " cried Peter, 
and he meant just what he said. 

Strutter threw out his chest proudly. "That 
is just what Mrs. Grouse says," he replied. "I 
don't know of any better thunderer if I do say 
it myself." 

"Speaking of Mrs. Grouse, where is she?" 
asked Peter eagerly. 

"Attending to her household affairs, as a 
good housewife should," retorted Strutter 

"Do you mean she has a nest and eggs?" 
asked Peter. 

Strutter nodded. "She has twelve eggs," he 
added proudly. 


A Maker of Thunder and A Friend in Black 

"I suppose," said Peter artfully, "her nest is 
somewhere near here on the ground." 

"It's on the ground, Peter, but as to where it 
is I am not saying a word. It may or it may not 
be near here. Do you want to hear me thunder 
again ? " 

Of course Peter said he did, and that was 
sufficient excuse for Strutter to show off. Peter 
stayed a while longer to gossip, but finding Strut- 
ter more interested in thundering than in talking, 
he once more started for home. 

"I really would like to know where that nest 
is," said he to himself as he scampered along. 
"I suppose Mrs. Grouse has hidden it so cleverly 
that it is quite useless to look for it." 

On his way he passed a certain big tree. All 
around the ground was carpeted with brown, 
dead leaves. There were no bushes or young 
trees there. Peter never once thought of looking 
for a nest. It was the last place in the world he 
would expect to find one. When he was well 
past the big tree there was a soft chuckle and 
from among the brown leaves right at the foot of 
that big tree a head with a pair of the brightest 
eyes was raised a little. Those eyes twinkled as 
they watched Peter out of sight. 

"He didn't see me at all," chuckled Mrs. 
Grouse, as she settled down once more. "That 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

is what comes of having a cloak so like the color 
of these nice brown leaves. He isn't the first 
one who has passed me without seeing me at all. 
It is better than trying to hide a nest, and I 
certainly am thankful to Old Mother Nature for 
the cloak she gave me. I wonder if every one of 
these twelve eggs will hatch. If they do, I cer- 
tainly will have a family to be proud of." 

Meanwhile Peter hurried on in his usual happy- 
go-lucky fashion until he came to the edge of the 
Green Forest. Out on the Green Meadows just 
beyond he caught sight of a black form walking 
about in a stately way and now and then picking 
up something. It reminded him of Blacky the 
Crow, but he knew right away that it wasn't 
Blacky, because it was so much smaller, being not 
more than half as big. i 

"It's Creaker the Grackle. He was one of the 
first to arrive this spring and I'm ashamed of 
myself for not having called on him," thought 
Peter, as he hopped out and started across the 
Green Meadows towards Creaker. " What a splen- 
did long tail he has. I believe Jenny Wren told 
me that he belongs to the Blackbird family. He 
looks so much like Blacky the Crow that I sup- 
pose this is why they call him Crow Blackbird." 

Just then Creaker turned in such a way that 
the sun fell full on his head and back. "Why! 


STRUTTER THE RUFFED GROUSE. The black ruff around his neck 
gives him his name. 

A Maker of Thunder and A Friend in Black 

Why-eee!" exclaimed Peter, rubbing his eyes 
with astonishment. "He isn't just black! He's 
beautiful, simply beautiful, and I've always sup- 
posed he was just plain, homely black." 

It was true. Creaker the Crackle with the sun 
shining on him was truly beautiful. His head 
and neck, his throat and upper breast, were a 
shining blue-black, while his back was a rich, 
shining brassy-green. His wings and tail were 
much like his head and neck. As Peter watched 
it seemed as if the colors were constantly changing. 
This changing of colors is called iridescence. One 
other thing Peter noticed and this was that 
Creaker's eyes were yellow. Just at the moment 
Peter couldn't remember any other bird with 
yellow eyes. 

"Creaker," cried Peter, "I wonder if you know 
how handsome you are !" 

"I'm glad you think so," replied Creaker. 
"I'm not at all vain, but there are mighty few 
birds I would change coats with." 

"Is is Mrs. Creaker dressed as handsomely 
as you are?" asked Peter rather timidly. 

Creaker shook his head. "Not quite," said he. 
"She likes plain black better. Some of the 
feathers on her back shine like mine, but she says 
that she has no time to show off in the sun and to 
take care of fine feathers." 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

"Where is she now?" asked Peter. 

"Over home," replied Creaker, pulling a white 
grub out of the roots of the grass. "We've got 
a nest over there in one of those pine-trees on the 
edge of the Green Forest and I expect any day 
now we will have four hungry babies to feed. I 
shall have to get busy then. You know I am one 
of those who believe that every father should do 
his full share in taking care of his family." 

"I'm glad to hear you say it," declared Peter, 
nodding his head with approval quite as if he was 
himself the best of fathers, which he isn't at all. 
"May I ask you a very personal question, 

"Ask as many questions as you like. I don't 
have to answer them unless I want to," retorted 

"Is it true that you steal the eggs of other 
birds?" Peter blurted the question out rather 

Creaker's yellow eyes began to twinkle. "That 
is a very personal question," said he. "I won't 
go so far as to say I steal eggs, but I've found that 
eggs are very good for my constitution and if I 
find a nest with nobody around I sometimes help 
myself to the eggs. You see the owner might not 
come back and then those eggs would spoil, and 
that would be a pity." 


A Maker of Thunder and A Friend in Black 

"That's no excuse at all," declared Peter. "I 
believe you're no better than Sammy Jay and 
Blacky the Crow." 

Creaker chuckled, but he did not seem to be 
at all offended. Just then he heard Mrs. Creaker 
calling him and with a hasty farewell he spread 
his wings and headed for the Green Forest. Once 
in the air he seemed just plain black. Peter 
watched him out of sight and then once more 
headed for the dear Old Briar-patch. 




JUST out of curiosity, and because he possesses 
what is called the wandering foot, which means 
that he delights to roam about, Peter Rabbit had 
run over to the bank of the Big River. There 
were plenty of bushes, clumps of tall grass, weeds 
and tangles of vines along the bank of the Big 
River, so that Peter felt quite safe there. He 
liked to sit gazing out over the water and wonder 
where it all came from and where it was going 
and what kept it moving. 

He was doing this very thing on this particular 
morning when he happened to glance up in the 
blue, blue sky. There he saw a broad-winged 
bird sailing in wide, graceful circles. Instantly 
Peter crouched a little lower in his hiding-place, 
for he knew this for a member of the Hawk family 
and Peter has learned by experience that the only 
way to keep perfectly safe when one of these hook- 
clawed, hook-billed birds is about is to keep out 
of sight. 

So now he crouched very close to the ground 
and kept his eyes fixed on the big bird sailing so 

A Fisherman Robbed 

gracefully high up in the blue, blue sky over the 
Big River. Suddenly the stranger paused in his 
flight and for a moment appeared to remain in 
one place, his great wings beating rapidly to hold 
him there. Then those wings were closed and 
with a rush he shot down straight for the water, 
disappearing with a great splash. Instantly Peter 
sat up to his full height that he might see better. 

"It's Plunger the Osprey fishing, and I've 
nothing to fear from him," he cried happily. 

Out of the water, his great wings flapping, rose 
Plunger. Peter looked eagerly to see if he had 
caught a fish, but there was nothing in Plunger's 
great, curved claws. Either that fish had been 
too deep or had seen Plunger and darted away 
just in the nick of time. Peter had a splendid 
view of Plunger. He was just a little bigger than 
Redtail the Hawk. Above he was dark brown, 
his head and neck marked with white. His tail 
was grayish, crossed by several narrow dark bands 
and tipped with white. His under parts were 
white with some light brown spots on his breast. 
Peter could see clearly the great, curved claws 
which are Plunger's fishhooks. 

Up, up, up he rose, going round and round in a 

spiral. When he was well up in the blue, blue 

sky, he began to sail again in wide circles as 

when Peter had first seen him. It wasn't long 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

before he again paused and then shot down towards 
the water. This time he abruptly spread his 
great wings just before reaching the water so that 
he no more than wet his feet. Once more a fish 
had escaped him. But Plunger seemed not in 
the least discouraged. He is a true fisherman 
and every true fisherman possesses patience. 
Up again he spiraled until he was so high that 
Peter wondered how he could possibly see a fish 
so far below. You see, Peter didn't know that 
it is easier to see down into the water from high 
above it than from close to it. Then, too, there 
are no more wonderful eyes than those possessed 
by the members of the Hawk family. And 
Plunger the Osprey is a Hawk, usually called 
Fish Hawk. 

A third time Plunger shot down and this time, 
as in his first attempt, he struck the water with a 
great splash and disappeared. In an instant he 
reappeared, shaking the water from him in a 
silver spray and flapping heavily. This time 
Peter could see a great shining fish in his claws. 
It was heavy, as Peter could tell by the way in 
which Plunger flew. He headed towards a tall 
tree on the other bank of the Big River, there 
to enjoy his breakfast. He was not more than 
halfway there when Peter was startled by a 
harsh scream. 


A Fisherman Robbed 

He looked up to see a great bird, with wonderful 
broad wings, swinging in short circles about 
Plunger. His body and wings were dark brown, 
and his head was snowy white, as was his tail. His 
great hooked beak was yellow and his legs were 
yellow. Peter knew in an instant who it was. 
There could be no mistake. It was King Eagle, 
commonly known as Bald Head, though his 
head isn't bald at all. 

Peter's eyes looked as if they would pop out 
of his head, for it was quite plain to him that 
King Eagle was after Plunger, and Peter didn't 
understand this at all. You see, he didn't under- 
stand what King Eagle was screaming. But 
Plunger did. King Eagle was screaming, "Drop 
that fish ! Drop that fish ! " 

Plunger didn't intend to drop that fish if he 
could help himself. It was his fish. Hadn't he 
caught it himself? He didn't intend to give it 
up to any robber of the air, even though that 
robber was King Eagle himself, unless he was 
actually forced to. So Plunger began to dodge 
and twist and turn in the air, all the time mounting 
higher and higher, and all the time screaming 
harshly, "Robber! Thief! I won't drop this 
fish ! It's mine ! It's mine ! " 

Now the fish was heavy, so of course Plunger 
couldn't fly as easily and swiftly as if he were 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

carrying nothing. Up, up he went, but all the 
time King Eagle went up with him, circling round 
him, screaming harshly, and threatening to strike 
him with those great, cruel, curved claws. Peter 
watched them, so excited that he fairly danced. 
"O, I do hope Plunger will get away from that 
big robber," cried Peter. "He may be king of 
the air, but he is a robber just the same." 

Plunger and King Eagle were now high in the 
air above the Big River. Suddenly King Eagle 
swung above Plunger and for an instant seemed 
to hold himself still there, just as Plunger had 
done before he had shot down into the water after 
that fish. There was a still harsher note in King 
Eagle's scream. If Peter had been near enough 
he would have seen a look of anger and determina- 
tion in King Eagle's fierce, yellow eyes. Plunger 
saw it and knew what it meant. He knew that 
King Eagle would stand for no more fooling. 
With a cry of bitter disappointment and anger 
he let go of the big fish. 

Down, down, dropped the fish, shining in the 
sun like a bar of silver. King Eagle's wings half 
closed and he shot down like a thunderbolt. Just 
before the fish reached the water King Eagle 
struck it with his great claws, checked himself 
by spreading his broad wings and tail, and then 
in triumph flew over to the very tree towards which 

KING EAGLE, the bald or whiteheaded Eagle. His head, neck and tail are 

snowy white. 
PLUNGER THE OSPREY, one of our largest hawks, brown above and 

white beneath. 

A Fisherman Robbed 

Plunger had started when he had caught the fish. 
There he leisurely made his breakfast, apparently 
enjoying it as much as if he had come by it honestly. 

As for poor Plunger, he shook himself, screamed 
angrily once or twice, then appeared to think that 
it was wisest to make the best of a bad matter 
and that there were more fish where that one had 
come from, for he once more began to sail in 
circles over the Big River, searching for a fish near 
the surface. Peter watched him until he saw him 
catch another fish and fly away with it in triumph. 
King Eagle watched him, too, but having had a 
good breakfast he was quite willing to let Plunger 
enjoy his catch in peace. 

Late that afternoon Peter visited the Old 
Orchard, for he just had to tell Jenny Wren 
all about what he had seen that morning. 

"King Eagle is king simply because he is so 
big and fierce and strong," sputtered Jenny. "He 
isn't kingly in his habits, not the least bit. He 
never hesitates to rob those smaller than himself, 
just as you saw him rob Plunger. He is very 
fond of fish, and once in a while he catches one 
for himself when Plunger isn't around to be robbed, 
but he isn't a very good fisherman, and he isn't 
the least bit fussy about his fish. Plunger eats 
only fresh fish which he catches himself, but King 
Eagle will eat dead fish which he finds on the 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

shore. He doesn't seem to care how long they 
have been dead either." 

"Doesn't he eat anything but fish?" asked 
Peter innocently. 

"Well," retorted Jenny Wren, her eyes twink- 
ling, "I wouldn't advise you to run across the 
Green Meadows in sight of King Eagle. I am 
told he is very fond of Rabbit. In fact he is very 
fond of fresh meat of any kind. He even catches 
the babies of Lightfoot the Deer when he gets a 
chance. He is so swift of wing that even the 
members of the Duck family fear him, for he is 
especially fond of fat Duck. Even Honker the 
Goose is not safe from him. King he may be, 
but he rules only through fear. He is a white- 
headed old robber. The best thing I can say of 
him is that he takes a mate for life and is loyal 
and true to her as long as she lives, and that is a 
great many years. By the way, Peter, did you 
know that she is bigger than he is, and that the 
young during the first year after leaving their 
nest, are bigger than their parents and do not have 
white heads? By the time they get white heads 
they are the same size as their parents." 

"That's queer and it's hard to believe," said Peter. 

"It is queer, but it is true just the same, whether 
you believe it or not," retorted Jenny Wren, and 
whisked out of sight into her home. 



PETER RABBIT sat on the edge of the Old Briar- 
patch trying to make up his mind whether to stay 
at home, which was the wise and proper thing to 
do, or to go call on some of the friends he had not 
yet visited. A sharp, harsh rattle caused him to 
look up to see a bird about a third larger than 
Welcome Robin, and with a head out of all pro- 
portion to the size of his body. He was flying 
straight towards the Smiling Pool, rattling harshly 
as he flew. The mere sound of his voice settled 
the matter for Peter. "It's Rattles the King- 
fisher," he cried. "I think I'll run over to the 
Smiling Pool and pay him my respects." 

So Peter started for the Smiling Pool as fast as 
his long legs could take him, lipperty-lipperty- 
lip. He had lost sight of Rattles the Kingfisher, 
and when he reached the bank of the Smiling 
Pool he was in doubt which way to turn. It was 
very early in the morning and there was not so 
much as a ripple on the surface of the Smiling 
Pool. As Peter sat there trying to make up his 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

mind which way to go, he saw coming from the 
direction of the Big River a great, broad-winged 
bird, flying slowly. He seemed to have no neck 
at all, but carried straight out behind him were 
two long legs. 

"Longlegs the Great Blue Heron! I wonder 
if he is coming here," exclaimed Peter. "I do 
hope so." 

Peter stayed right where he was and waited. 
Nearer and nearer came Longlegs. When he was 
right opposite Peter he suddenly dropped his long 
legs, folded his great wings, and alighted right on 
the edge of the Smiling Pool across from where 
Peter was sitting. If he seemed to have no neck 
at all when he was flying, now he seemed to be all 
neck as he stretched it to its full length. The 
fact is, his neck was so long that when he was 
flying he carried it folded back on his shoulders. 
Never before had Peter had such an opportunity 
to see Longlegs. 

He stood quite four feet high. The top of his 
head and throat were white. From the base of 
his great bill and over his eye was a black stripe 
which ended in two long, slender, black feathers 
hanging from the back of his head. His bill was 
longer than his head, stout and sharp like a spear 
and yellow in color. His long neck was a light 
brownish-gray. His back and wings were of a 

A Fishing Party 

bluish color. The bend of each wing and the 
feathered parts of his legs were a rusty-red. The 
remainder of his legs and his feet were black. 
Hanging down over his breast were beautiful long 
pearly-gray feathers quite unlike any Peter had 
seen on any of his other feathered friends. In 
spite of the length of his legs and the length of his 
neck he was both graceful and handsome. 

"I wonder what has brought him over to the 
Smiling Pool," thought Peter. 

He didn't have to wait long to find out. After 
standing perfectly still with his neck stretched 
to its full height until he was sure that no danger 
was near, Longlegs waded into the water a few 
steps, folded his neck back on his shoulders until 
his long bill seemed to rest on his breast, and then 
remained as motionless as if there were no life 
in him. Peter also sat perfectly still. By and 
by he began to wonder if Longlegs had gone to 
sleep. His own patience was reaching an end 
and he was just about to go on in search of Rattles 
the Kingfisher when like a flash the dagger-like 
bill of Longlegs shot out and down into the water. 
When he withdrew it Peter saw that Longlegs 
had caught a little fish which he at once proceeded 
to swallow head-first. Peter almost laughed right 
out as he watched the funny efforts of Longlegs 
to gulp that fish down his long throat. Then 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

Longlegs resumed his old position as motionless 
as before. 

It was no trouble now for Peter to sit still, for 
he was too interested in watching this lone fisher- 
man to think of leaving. It wasn't long before 
Longlegs made another catch and this time it was 
a fat Pollywog. Peter thought of how he had 
watched Plunger the Osprey fishing in the Big 
River and the difference in the ways of the two 

"Plunger hunts for his fish while Longlegs waits 
for his fish to come to him," thought Peter. "I 
wonder if Longlegs never goes hunting." 

As if in answer to Peter's thought Longlegs 
seemed to conclude that no more fish were coming 
his way. He stretched himself up to his full 
height, looked sharply this way and that way to 
make sure that all was safe, then began to walk 
along the edge of the Smiling Pool. He put each 
foot down slowly and carefully so as to make no 
noise. He had gone but a few steps when that 
great bill darted down like a flash, and Peter saw 
that he had caught a careless young Frog. A few 
steps farther on he caught another Pollywog. 
Then coming to a spot that suited him, he once 
more waded in and began to watch for fish. 

Peter was suddenly reminded of Rattles the 
Kingfisher, whom he had quite forgotten. From 

A Fishing Party 

the Big Hickory -tree on the bank, Rattles flew 
out over the Smiling Pool, hovered for an instant, 
then plunged down head-first. There was a splash, 
and a second later Rattles was in the air again, 
shaking the water from him in a silver spray. In 
his long, stout, black bill was a little fish. He 
flew back to a branch of the Big Hickory-tree that 
hung out over the water and thumped the fish 
against the branch until it was dead. Then he 
turned it about so he could swallow it head-first. 
It was a big fish for the size of the fisherman and 
he had a dreadful time getting it down. But at 
last it was down, and Rattles set himself to watch 
for another. The sun shone full on him, and 
Peter gave a little gasp of surprise. 

"I never knew before how handsome Rattles 
is," thought Peter. He was about the size of 
Yellow Wing the Flicker, but his head made him 
look bigger than he really was. You see, the 
feathers on top of his head stood up in a crest, 
as if they had been brushed the wrong way. 
His head, back, wings and tail were a bluish-gray. 
His throat was white and he wore a white collar. 
In front of each eye was a little white spot. Across 
his breast was a belt of bluish-gray, and under- 
neath he was white. There were tiny spots of 
white on his wings, and his tail was spotted with 
white. His bill was black and, like that of Long- 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

legs, was long, and stout, and sharp. It looked 
almost too big for his size. 

Presently Rattles flew out and plunged into 
the Smiling Pool again, this time, very near to 
where Longlegs was patiently waiting. He caught 
a fish, for it is not often that Rattles misses. It 
was smaller than the first one Peter had seen him 
catch, and this time as soon as he got back to the 
Big Hickory -tree, he swallowed it without thump- 
ing it against the branch. As for Longlegs, he 
looked thoroughly put out. For a moment or 
two he stood glaring angrily up at Rattles. You 
see, when Rattles had plunged so close to Longlegs 
he had frightened all the fish. Finally Longlegs 
seemed to make up his mind that there was room 
for but one fisherman at a time at the Smiling 
Pool. Spreading his great wings, folding his 
long neck back on his shoulders, and dragging his 
long legs out behind him, he flew heavily away 
in the direction of the Big River. 

Rattles remained long enough to catch another 
little fish, and then with a harsh rattle flew off 
down the Laughing Brook. "I would know him 
anywhere by that rattle," thought Peter. "There 
isn't any one who can make a noise anything like 
it. I wonder where he has gone to now. He 
must have a nest, but I haven't the least idea 
what kind of a nest he builds. Hello! There's 

RATTLES THE KINGFISHER. His voice sounds like a watchman's rattle. 

TEETER THE SPOTTED SANDPIPER. You can tell him by the way he 
bobs or teeters. 

LONGLEGS THE GREAT BLUE HERON. He stands nearly four feet 

A Fishing Party 

Grandfather Frog over on his green lily pad. 
Perhaps he can tell me." 

So Peter hopped along until he was near enough 
to talk to Grandfather Frog. "What kind of a 
nest does Rattles the Kingfisher build?" repeated 
Grandfather Frog. "Chug-arum, Peter Rabbit! 
I thought everybody knew that Rattles doesn't 
build a nest. At least I wouldn't call it a nest. 
He lives in a hole in the ground." 

"What!" cried Peter, and looked as if he 
couldn't believe his own ears. 

Grandfather Frog grinned and his goggly eyes 
twinkled. "Yes," said he, "Rattles lives in a 
hole in the ground." 

"But but but what kind of a hole?" 
stammered Peter. 

"Just plain hole," retorted Grandfather Frog, 
grinning more broadly than ever. Then seeing 
how perplexed and puzzled Peter looked, he went 
on to explain. "He usually picks out a high 
gravelly bank close to the water and digs a hole 
straight in just a little way from the top. He 
makes it just big enough for himself and Mrs. 
Rattles to go in and out of comfortably, and 
he digs it straight in for several feet. I'm 
told that at the end of it he makes a sort of 
bedroom, because he usually has a good-sized 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

"Do you mean to say that he digs it himself?" 
asked Peter. 

Grandfather Frog nodded. "If he doesn't, 
Mrs. Kingfisher does," he replied. "Those big 
bills of theirs are picks as well as fish spears. 
They loosen the sand with those and scoop it out 
with their feet. I've never seen the inside of 
their home myself, but I'm told that their bedroom 
is lined with fish bones. Perhaps you may call 
that a nest, but I don't." 

"I'm going straight down the Laughing Brook 
to look for that hole," declared Peter, and left in 
such a hurry that he forgot to be polite enough 
to say thank you to Grandfather Frog. 




PETER RABBIT scampered along down one bank 
of the Laughing Brook, eagerly watching for a 
high, gravelly bank such as Grandfather Frog had 
said that Rattles the Kingfisher likes to make his 
home in. If Peter had stopped to do a little 
thinking, he would have known that he was simply 
wasting time. You see, the Laughing Brook was 
flowing through the Green Meadows, so of course 
there would be no high, gravelly bank, because 
the Green Meadows are low. But Peter Rabbit, 
in his usual heedless way, did no thinking. He 
had seen Rattles fly down the Laughing Brook, 
and so he had just taken it for granted that the 
home of Rattles must be somewhere down there. 

At last Peter reached the place where the 
Laughing Brook entered the Big River. Of course 
he hadn't found the home of Rattles. But now 
he did find something that for the time being made 
him quite forget Rattles and his home. Just 
before it reached the Big River the Laughing 
Brook wound through a swamp in which were 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

many tall trees and a great number of young 
trees. A great many big ferns grew there and 
were splendid to hide under. Peter always did 
like that swamp. 

He had stopped to rest in a clump of ferns when 
he was startled by seeing a great bird alight in a 
tree just a little way from him. His first thought 
was that it was a Hawk, so you can imagine how 
surprised and pleased he was to discover that it 
was Mrs. Longlegs. Somehow Peter had always 
thought of Longlegs the Blue Heron as never 
alighting anywhere except on the ground. But 
here was Mrs. Longlegs in a tree. Having noth- 
ing to fear, Peter crept out from his hiding place 
that he might see better. 

i In the tree in which Mrs. Longlegs was perched 
and just below her he saw a little platform of 
sticks. He didn't suspect that it was a nest, 
because it looked too rough and loosely put to- 
gether to be a nest. Probably he wouldn't have 
thought about it at all had not Mrs. Longlegs 
settled herself on it right while Peter was watch- 
ing. It didn't seem big enough or strong enough 
to hold her, but it did. 

"As I live," thought Peter, "I've found the 

nest of Longlegs ! He and Mrs. Longlegs may 

be good fishmen but they certainly are mighty 

poor nest-builders. I don't see how under the 


Some Feathered Diggers 

sun Mrs. Longlegs ever gets on and off that nest 
without kicking the eggs out." 

Peter sat around for a while, but as he didn't 
care to let his presence be known, and as there 
was no one to talk to, he presently made up his 
mind that being so near the Big River he would 
go over there to see if Plunger the Osprey was 
fishing again on this day. 

When he reached the Big River, Plunger was 
not in sight. Peter was disappointed. He had 
just about made up his mind to return the way 
he had come, when from beyond the swamp, 
farther up the Big River, he heard the harsh, 
rattling cry of Rattles the Kingfisher. It re- 
minded him of what he had come for, and he at 
once began to hurry in that direction. 

Peter came out of the swamp on a little sandy 
beach. There he squatted for a moment, blink- 
ing his eyes, for out there the sun was very bright. 
Then a little way beyond him he discovered some- 
thing that in his eager curiosity made him quite 
forget that he was out in the open where it was 
anything but safe for a Rabbit to be. What he 
saw was a high sandy bank. With a hasty glance 
this way and that way to make sure that no enemy 
was in sight, Peter scampered along the edge of 
the water till he was right at the foot of that sandy 
bank. Then he squatted down and looked eagerly 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

for a hole such as he imagined Rattles the King- 
fisher might make. Instead of one hole he saw 
a lot of holes, but they were very small holes. 
He knew right away that Rattles couldn't possibly 
get in or out of a single one of those holes. In 
fact, those holes in the bank were no bigger than 
the holes Downy the Woodpecker makes in trees. 
Peter couldn't imagine who or what had made 

As Peter sat there staring and wondering a trim 
little head appeared at the entrance to one of 
those holes. It was a trim little head with a very 
small bill and a snowy white throat. At first 
glance Peter thought it was his old friend, Skim- 
mer the Tree Swallow, and he was just on the 
point of asking what under the sun Skimmer was 
doing in such a place as that, when with a lively 
twitter of greeting the owner of that little home 
in the bank flew out and circled over Peter's head. 
It wasn't Skimmer at all. It was Banker the 
Bank Swallow, own cousin to Skimmer the Tree 
Swallow. Peter recognized him the instant he 
got a full view of him. 

In the first place Banker was a little smaller 
than Skimmer. Then too, he was not nearly so 
handsome. His back, instead of being that beauti- 
ful rich steel-blue which makes Skimmer so hand- 
some, was a sober grayish-brown, He was a 

Some Feathered Diggers 

little darker on his wings and tail. His breast, 
instead of being all snowy white, was crossed 
with a brownish band. His tail was more nearly 
square across the end than is the case with other 
members of the Swallow family. 

"Wha wha what were you doing there ?" 
stuttered Peter, his eyes popping right out with 
curiosity and excitement. 

"Why, that's my home," twittered Banker. 

"Do do do you mean to say that you live 
in a hole in the ground?" cried Peter. 

"Certainly; why not?" twittered Banker as 
he snapped up a fly just over Peter's head. 

"I don't know any reason why you shouldn't," 
confessed Peter. "But somehow it is hard for 
me to think of birds as living in holes in the 
ground. I've only just found out that Rattles 
the Kingfisher does. But I didn't suppose there 
were any others. Did you make that hole your- 
self , Banker ?" 

"Of course," replied Banker. "That is, I 
helped make it. Mrs. Banker did her share. 
'Way in at the end of it we've got the nicest little 
nest of straw and feathers. What is more, we've 
got four white eggs in there, and Mrs. Banker is 
sitting on them now." 

By this time the air seemed to be full of Banker's 
friends, skimming and circling this way and that, 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

and going in and out of the little holes in the 

"I am like my big cousin, Twitter the Purple 
Martin, fond of society," explained Banker. "We 
Bank Swallows like our homes close together. 
You said that you had just learned that Rattles 
the Kingfisher has his home in a bank. Do you 
know where it is ?" 

"No," replied Peter. "I was looking for it 
when I discovered your home. Can you tell me 
where it is ? " 

"I'll do better than that;" replied Banker. 
"I'll show you where it is." 

He darted some distance up along the bank and 
hovered for an instant close to the top. Peter 
scampered over there and looked up. There, 
just a few inches below the top, was another hole, 
a very much larger hole than those he had just 
left. As he was staring up at it a head with a 
long sharp bill and a crest which looked as if all 
the feathers on the top of his head had been 
brushed the wrong way, was thrust out. It was 
Rattles himself. He didn't seem at all glad to 
see Peter. In fact, he came out and darted at 
Peter angrily. Peter didn't wait to feel that 
sharp dagger-like bill. He took to his heels. 
He had seen what he started out to find and he 
was quite content to go home. 

Some Feathered Diggers 

Peter took a short cut across the Green Meadows. 
It took him past a certain tall, dead tree. A 
sharp cry of "Kill-ee, kill-ee, kill-ee!" caused 
Peter to look up just in time to see a trim, hand- 
some bird whose body was about the size of 
Sammy Jay's but whose longer wings and longer 
tail made him look bigger. One glance was 
enough to tell Peter that this was a member of 
the Hawk family, the smallest of the family. It 
was Killy the Sparrow Hawk. He is too small 
for Peter to fear him, so now Peter was possessed 
of nothing more than a very lively curiosity, and 
sat up to watch. 

Out over the meadow grass Killy sailed. Sud- 
denly, with beating wings, he kept himself in 
one place in the air and then dropped down into 
the grass. He was up again in an instant, and 
Peter could see that he had a fat grasshopper in 
his claws. Back to the top of the tall, dead tree 
he flew and there ate the grasshopper. When it 
was finished he sat up straight and still, so still 
that he seemed a part of the tree itself. With 
those wonderful eyes of his he was watching for 
another grasshopper or for a careless Meadow 

Very trim and handsome was Killy. His back 
was reddish-brown crossed by bars of black. 
His tail was reddish-brown with a band of black 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

near its end and a white tip. His wings were 
slaty-blue with little bars of black, the longest 
feathers having white bars. Underneath he was 
a beautiful buff, spotted with black. His head 
was bluish with a reddish patch right on top. 
Before and behind each ear was a black mark. 
His rather short bill, like the bills of all the rest 
of his family, was hooked. 

As Peter sat there admiring Killy, for he was 
handsome enough for any one to admire, he 
noticed for the first time a hole high up in the 
trunk of the tree, such a hole as Yellow Wing the 
Flicker might have made and probably did make. 
Right away Peter remembered what Jenny Wren 
had told him about Killy's making his nest in 
just such a hole. "I wonder," thought Peter, 
"if that is Killy's home." 

Just then Killy flew over and dropped in the 
grass just in front of Peter, where he caught 
another fat grasshopper. "Is that your home 
up there?" asked Peter hastily. 

"It certainly is, Peter," replied Killy. "This 
is the third summer Mrs. Killy and I have had 
our home there." 

"You seem to be very fond of grasshoppers," 
Peter ventured. 

"I am," replied Killy. "They are very fine 
eating when one can get enough of them." 

Some Feathered Diggers 

t "Are they the only kind of food you eat?" 
ventured Peter. 

Killy laughed. It was a shrill laugh. "I 
should say not," said he. "I eat spiders and 
worms and all sorts of insects big enough to give a 
fellow a decent bite. But for real good eating 
give me a fat Meadow Mouse. I don't object to 
a Sparrow or some other small bird now and then, 
especially when I have a family of hungry young- 
sters to feed. But take it the season through, 
I live mostly on grasshoppers and insects and 
Meadow Mice. I do a lot of good in this world, 
I'd have you know." 

Peter said that he supposed that this was so, 
but all the time he kept thinking what a pity it 
was that Killy ever killed his feathered neighbors. 
As soon as he conveniently could he politely bade 
Killy good-by and hurried home to the dear Old 
Briar-patch, there to think over how queer it 
seemed that a member of the Hawk family should 
nest in a hollow tree and a member of the Swallow 
family should dig a hole in the ground. 




BOOM ! Peter Rabbit jumped as if he had been 
shot. It was all so sudden and unexpected that 
Peter jumped before he had time to think. Then 
he looked foolish. He felt foolish. He had been 
scared when there was nothing to be afraid of. 

" Ha, ha, ha, ha ! " tittered Jenny Wren. " What 
are you jumping for, Peter Rabbit? That was 
only Boomer the Nighthawk." 

"I know it just as well as you do, Jenny Wren," 
retorted Peter rather crossly. "You know being 
suddenly startled is apt to make people feel cross. 
If I had seen him anywhere about he wouldn't 
have made me jump. It was the unexpectedness 
of it. I don't see what he is out now for, anyway. 
It isn't even dusk yet, and I thought him a night 

"So he is," retorted Jenny Wren. "Anyway, he 
is a bird of the evening, and that amounts to the 
same thing. But just because he likes the evening 
best isn't any reason why he shouldn't come out 
in the daylight, is it?" 


Some Big Mouths 

"No-o," replied Peter rather slowly. "I don't 
suppose it is." 

"Of course it isn't," declared Jenny Wren. "I 
see Boomer late in the afternoon nearly every 
day. On cloudy days I often see him early in the 
afternoon. He's a queer fellow, is Boomer. Such 
a mouth as he has ! I suppose it is very handy 
to have a big mouth if one must catch all one's 
food in the air, but it certainly isn't pretty when 
it is wide open." 

"I never saw a mouth yet that was pretty when 
it was wide open," retorted Peter, who was still 
feeling a little put out. "I've never noticed that 
Boomer has a particularly big mouth." 

"Well he has, whether you've noticed it or not," 
retorted Jenny Wren sharply. "He's got a little 
bit of a bill, but a great big mouth. I don't see 
what folks call him a Hawk for when he isn't a 
Hawk at all. He is no more of a Hawk than I 
am, and goodness knows I'm not even related to 
the Hawk family." 

"I believe you told me the other day that 
Boomer is related to Sooty the Chimney Swift," 
said Peter. 

Jenny nodded vigorously. "So I did, Peter," 

she replied. "I'm glad you have such a good 

memory. Boomer and Sooty are sort of second 

cousins. There is Boomer now, way up in the 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

sky. I do wish he'd dive and scare some one 
else." i 

Peter tipped his head 'way back. High up in the 
blue, blue sky was a bird which at that distance 
looked something like a much overgrown Swallow. 
He was circling and darting about this way and 
that. Even while Peter watched he half closed 
his wings and shot down with such speed that 
Peter actually held his breath. It looked very, 
very much as if Boomer would dash himself to 
pieces. Just before he reached the earth he 
suddenly opened those wings and turned upward. 
At the instant he turned, the booming sound which 
had so startled Peter was heard. It was made 
by the rushing of the wind through the larger 
feathers of his wings as he checked himself. 

In this dive Boomer had come near enough for 
Peter to get a good look at him. His coat seemed 
to be a mixture of brown and gray, very soft 
looking. His wings were brown with a patch of 
white on each. There was a white patch on his 
throat and a band of white near the end of his 

"He's rather handsome, don't you think?" 
asked Jenny Wren. 

"He certainly is," replied Peter. "Do you 
happen to know what kind of a nest the Night- 
hawks build, Jenny?" 


BOOMER THE NIGHTHAWK. Look for him in the air late m the after, 

Some Big Mouths 

"They don't build any." Jenny Wren was a 
picture of scorn as she said this. "They don't 
built any nests at all. It can't be because they 
are lazy for I don't know of any birds that hunt 
harder for their living than do Boomer and Mrs. 

"But if there isn't any nest where does Mrs. 
Boomer lay her eggs?" cried Peter. "I think 
you must be mistaken, Jenny Wren. They must 
have some kind of a nest. Of course they must." 
i " Didn't I say they don't have a nest ? " sputtered 
Jenny. "Mrs. Nighthawk doesn't lay but two 
eggs, anyway. Perhaps she thinks it isn't worth 
while building a nest for just two eggs. Anyway, 
she lays them on the ground or on a flat rock and 
lets it go at that. She isn't quite as bad as Sally 
Sly the Cowbird, for she does sit on those eggs 
and she is a good mother. But just think of those 
Nighthawk children never having any home ! 
It doesn't seem to me right and it never will. 
Did you ever see Boomer in a tree ? " 

Peter shook his head. "I've seen him on the 
ground," said he, "but I never have seen him in 
a tree. Why did you ask, Jenny Wren?" 

"To find out how well you have used your eyes," 

snapped Jenny. "I just wanted to see if you 

had noticed anything peculiar about the way he 

sits in a tree. But as long as you haven't seen 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

him in a tree I may as well tell you that he doesn't 
sit as most birds do. He sits lengthwise of a 
branch. He never sits across it as the rest of us 

"How funny!" exclaimed Peter. "I suppose 
that is Boomer making that queer noise we hear." 

"Yes," replied Jenny. "He certainly does like 
to use his voice. They tell me that some folks call 
him Bullbat, though why they should call him either 
Bat or Hawk is beyond me. I suppose you know 
his cousin, Whip-poor-will." 

"I should say I do," replied Peter. "He's 
enough to drive one crazy when he begins to 
shout ' Whip poor Will ' close at hand. That voice 
of his goes through me so that I want to stop both 
ears. There isn't a person of my acquaintance 
who can say a thing over and over, over and over, 
so many times without stopping for breath. Do 
I understand that he is cousin to Boomer?" 

"He is a sort of second cousin, the same as Sooty 
the Chimney Swift," explained Jenny Wren. 
"They look enough alike to be own cousins. 
Whip-poor-will has just the same kind of a big 
mouth and he is dressed very much like Boomer, 
save that there are no white patches on his wings." 

"I've noticed that," said Peter. "That is one 
way I can tell them apart." 

"So you noticed that much, did you?" cried 

Some Big Mouths 

Jenny. "It does you credit, Peter. It does you 
credit. I wonder if you also noticed Whip-poor- 
will's whiskers." 

"Whiskers!" cried Peter. "Who ever heard 
of a bird having whiskers? You can stuff a lot 
down me, Jenny Wren, but there are some things 
I cannot swallow, and bird whiskers is one of 

"Nobody asked you to swallow them. Nobody 
wants you to swallow them," snapped Jenny. 
"I don't know why a bird shouldn't have whiskers 
just as well as you, Peter Rabbit. Anyway, 
Whip-poor-will has them and that is all there is 
to it. It doesn't make any difference whether you 
believe in them or not, they are there. And I 
guess Whip-poor-will finds them just as useful as 
you find yours, and a little more so. I know this 
much, that if I had to catch all my food in the air 
I'd want whiskers and lots of them so that the 
insects would get tangled in them. I suppose 
that's what Whip-poor-will's are for." 

"I beg your pardon, Jenny Wren," said Peter 
very humbly. "Of course Whip-poor-will has 
whiskers if you say so. By the way, do the Whip- 
poor-wills do any better in the matter of a nest 
than the Nighthawks ?" 

"Not a bit," replied Jenny Wren. "Mrs. 
Whip-poor-will lays her eggs right on the ground, 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

but usually in the Green Forest where it is dark and 
lonesome. Like Mrs. Nighthawk, she lays only 
two. It's the same way with another second 
cousin, Chuck-will's-widow." 

"Who?" cried Peter, wrinkling his brows. 

"Chuck-will's-widow," Jenny Wren fairly 
shouted it. "Don't you know Chuck-will's- 

Peter shook his head. "I never heard of such 
a bird," he confessed. 

"That's what comes of never having traveled," 
retorted Jenny Wren. "If you'd ever been in the 
South the way I have you would know Chuck- 
will's-widow. He looks a whole lot like the other 
two we've been talking about, but has even a 
bigger mouth. What's more, he has whiskers 
with branches. Now you needn't look as if you 
doubted that, Peter Rabbit; it's so. In his 
habits' he's just like his cousins, no nest and only 
two eggs. I never saw people so afraid to raise a 
real family. If the Wrens didn't do better than 
that, I don't know what would become of us." 
You know Jenny usually has a family of six or 





6 iw. 

IF there is one family of feathered friends which 
perplexes Peter Rabbit more than another, it is 
the Warbler family. 

"So many of them come together and they move 
about so constantly that a fellow doesn't have a 
chance to look at one long enough to recognize 
him," complained Peter to Jenny Wren one morn- 
ing when the Old Orchard was fairly alive with 
little birds no bigger than Jenny Wren herself. 

And such restless little folks as they were ! 
They were not still an instant, flitting from tree 
to tree, twig to twig, darting out into the air and 
all the time keeping up an endless chattering 
mingled with little snatches of song. Peter would 
no sooner fix his eyes on one than another entirely 
different in appearance would take its place. 
Occasionally he would see one whom he recognized, 
one who would stay for the nesting season. But 
the majority of them would stop only for a day or 
two, being bound farther north to make their 
summer homes. 

Apparently Jenny Wren did not look upon them 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

altogether with favor. Perhaps Jenny was a little 
bit envious, for compared with the bright colors 
of some of them Jenny was a very homely small 
person indeed. Then, too, there were so many 
of them and they were so busy catching all kinds of 
small insects that it may be Jenny was a little 
fearful they would not leave enough for her to get 
her own meals easily. 

"I don't see what they have to stop here for," 
scolded Jenny. "They could just as well go 
somewhere else where they would not be taking 
the food out of the mouths of honest folks who 
are here to stay all summer. Did you ever in 
your life see such uneasy people? They don't 
keep still an instant. It positively makes me 
tired just to watch them." 

Peter couldn't help but chuckle, for Jenny 
Wren herself is a very restless and uneasy person. 
As for Peter, he was thoroughly enjoying this 
visit of the Warblers, despite the fact that he was 
having no end of trouble trying to tell who was 
who. Suddenly one darted down and snapped up 
a fly almost under Peter's very nose and was back 
up in a tree before Peter could get his breath. 
"It's Zee Zee the Redstart !" cried Peter joyously. 
"I would know Zee Zee anywhere. Do you know 
who he reminds me of, Jenny Wren?" 

"\Yho?" demanded Jenny. 

SUNSHINE THE YELLOW WARBLER, the one bird who is all yellow. 
ZEE-ZEE THE REDSTART, dressed chiefly in black and orange. 

SEEP-SEEP THE BROWN CREEPER. When in winter you see a little 
brown-backed bird going round and round up a tree trunk it is the Brown 

The Warblers Arrive 

"Goldy the Oriole," replied Peter promptly. 
"Only of course he's ever and ever so much smaller. 
He's all black and orange-red and white something 
as Goldy is, only there isn't quite so much orange 
on him." 

For just an instant Zee Zee sat still with his tail 
spread. His head, throat and back were black 
and there was a black band across the end of his 
tail and a black stripe down the middle of it. The 
rest was bright orange-red. On each wing was a 
band of orange-red and his sides were the same 
color. Underneath he was white tinged more or 
less with orange. 

It was only for an instant that Zee Zee sat still ; 
then he was in the air, darting, diving, whirling, 
going through all sorts of antics as he caught tiny 
insects too small for Peter to see. Peter began to 
wonder how he kept still long enough to sleep at 
night. And his voice was quite asjbusy as his 
wings. "Zee, zee, zee, zee!" he would cry. 
But this was only one of many notes. At times 
he would sing a beautiful little song and then again 
it would seem as if he were trying to imitate other 
members of the Warbler family. 

"I do hope Zee Zee is going to stay here," 
said Peter. "I just love to watch him." 

"He'll stay fast enough," retorted Jenny Wren. 
"I don't imagine he'll stay in the Old Orchard 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

and I hope he won't, because if he does it will make 
it just that much harder for me to catch enough 
to feed my big family. Probably he and Mrs. 
Redstart will make their home on the edge of the 
Green Forest. They like it better over there, for 
which I am thankful. There's Mrs. Redstart now. 
Just notice that where Zee Zee is bright orange- 
red she is yellow, and instead of a black head 
she has a gray head and her back is olive-green 
with a grayish tinge. She isn't nearly as handsome 
as Zee Zee, but then, that's not to be expected. 
She lets Zee Zee do the singing and the showing off 
and she does the work. I expect she'll build that 
nest with almost no help at all from him. But 
Zee Zee is a good father, I'll say that much 
for him. He'll do his share in feeding their 

Just then Peter caught sight of a bird all in 
yellow. He was about the same size as Zee Zee 
and was flitting about among the bushes along the 
old stone wall. "There's Sunshine!" cried Peter, 
and without being polite enough to even bid Jenny 
Wren farewell, he scampered over to where he 
could see the one he called Sunshine flitting about 
from bush to bush. 

"Oh, Sunshine!" he cried, as he came within 
speaking distance, "I'm ever and ever so glad to 
see you back. I do hope you and Mrs. Sunshine 

The Warblers Arrive 

are going to make your home somewhere near here 
where I can see you every day." 

"Hello, Peter ! I am just as glad to see you as 
you are to see me," cried Sunshine the Yellow 
Warbler. "Yes, indeed, we certainly intend to 
stay here if we can find just the right place for 
our nest. It is lovely to be back here again. 
We've journeyed so far that we don't want to 
go a bit farther if we can help it. Have you 
seen Sally Sly the Cowbird around here this 

Peter nodded. "Yes," said he, "I have." 

"I'm sorry to hear it," declared Sunshine. 
"She made us a lot of trouble last year. But we 
fooled her." 

"How did you fool her?" asked Peter. 

Sunshine paused to pick a tiny worm from a leaf. 
"Well," said he, "she found our nest just after we 
had finished it and before Mrs. Sunshine had had 
a chance to lay an egg. Of course you know what 
she did." 

"I can guess," replied Peter. "She laid one 
of her own eggs in your nest." 

Sunshine stopped to pick two or three more 
worms from the leaves. "Yes," said he. "She 
did just that, the lazy good-for-nothing creature ! 
But it didn't do her a bit of good, not a bit. 
That egg never hatched. We fooled her and that's 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

what we'll do again if she repeats that trick this 

"What did you do, throw that egg out?" asked 

"No," replied Sunshine. "Our nest was too 
deep for us to get that egg out. We just made a 
second bottom in our nest right over that egg and 
built the sides of the nest a little higher. Then 
we took good care that she didn't have a chance 
to lay another egg in there." 

"Then you had a regular two-story nest, didn't 
you?" cried Peter, opening his eyes very wide. 

Sunshine nodded. "Yes, sir," said he, "and 
it was a mighty fine nest, if I do say it. If there's 
anything Mrs. Sunshine and I pride ourselves on 
it is our nest. There are no babies who have a 
softer, cozier home than ours." 
; " What do you make your nest of ? " asked Peter. 

"Fine grasses and soft fibers from plants, some 
hair when we can find it, and a few feathers. 
But we always use a lot of that nice soft fern- 
cotton. There is nothing softer or nicer that I 
know of." 

All the time Peter had been admiring Sunshine 
and thinking how wonderfully well he was named. 
At first glance he seemed to be all yellow, as if 
somehow he had managed to catch and hold the 
sunshine in his feathers. There wasn't a white: 

The Warblers Arrive 

feather on him. When he came very close Peter 
could see that on his breast and underneath were 
little streaks of reddish-brown and his wings and 
tail were a little blackish. Otherwise he was all 

Presently he was joined by Mrs. Sunshine. She 
was not such a bright yellow as was Sunshine, 
having an olive-green tint on her back. But 
underneath she was almost clear yellow without 
the reddish-brown streaks. She too was glad to 
see Peter, but couldn't stop to gossip, for already, 
as she informed Sunshine, she had found just the 
place for their nest. Of course Peter begged to 
be told where it was. But the two little folks in 
yellow snapped their bright eyes at him and told 
him that that was their secret and they didn't 
propose to tell a living soul. 

Perhaps if Peter had not been so curious and 
eager to get acquainted with other members of 
the Warbler family he would have stayed and done 
a little spying. As it was, he promised himself 
to come back to look for that nest after it had 
been built ; then he scurried back among the trees 
of the Old Orchard to look for other friends among 
the busy little Warblers who were making the 
Old Orchard such a lively place that morning. 

"There's one thing about it," cried Peter. 
" Any one can tell Zee Zee the Redstart by his 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

black and flame colored suit. There is no other 
like it. And any one can tell Sunshine the Yellow 
Warbler because there isn't anybody else who 
seems to be all yellow. My, what a lively, lovely 
lot these Warblers are !" 




As Peter Rabbit passed one of the apple-trees 
in the Old Orchard, a thin, wiry voice hailed him. 
" It's a wonder you wouldn't at least say you're glad 
to see me back, Peter Rabbit," said the voice. 

Peter, who had been hopping along rather fast, 
stopped abruptly to look up. Running along a 
limb just over his head, now on top and now under- 
neath, was a little bird with a black and white 
striped coat and a white waistcoat. Just as 
Peter looked it flew down to near the base of the 
tree and began to run straight up the trunk, 
picking things from the bark here and there as 
it ran. Its way of going up that tree trunk re- 
minded Peter of one of his winter friends, Seep 
Seep the Brown Creeper. 

"It strikes me that this is a mighty poor wel- 
come for one who has just come all the way from 
South America," said the little black and white 
bird with twinkling eyes. 

"Oh, Creeper, I didn't know you were here!" 
cried Peter. "You know I'm glad to see you. 
I'm just as glad as glad can be. You are such a 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

quiet fellow I'm afraid I shouldn't have seen you 
at all if you hadn't spoken. You know it's always 
been hard work for me to believe that you are 
really and truly a Warbler." 

"Why so?" demanded Creeper the Black and 
White Warbler, for that is the name by which he 
is commonly known. "Why so? Don't I look 
like a Warbler?" 

"Ye-es," said Peter slowly. "You do look like 
one but you don't act like one." 

"In what way don't I act like one I should like 
to know?" demanded Creeper. 

"Well," replied Peter, "all the rest of the 
Warblers are the uneasiest folks I know of. They 
can't seem to keep still a minute. They are ever- 
lastingly flitting about this way and that way and 
the other way. I actually get tired watching them. 
But you are not a bit that way. Then the way 
you run up tree trunks and along the limbs isn't a 
bit Warbler-like. Why don't you flit and dart 
about as the others do?" 

Creeper's bright eyes sparkled. "I don't have 
to," said he. "I'm going to let you into a little 
secret, Peter. The rest of them get their living 
from the leaves and twigs and in the air, but I've 
discovered an easier way. I've found out that 
there are lots of little worms and insects and eggs 
on the trunks and big limbs of the trees and that 

Three Cousins Quite Unlike 

I can get the best kind of a living there without 
flitting about everlastingly. I don't have to share 
them with anybody but the Woodpeckers, Nut- 
hatches, and Tommy Tit the Chickadee." 

"That reminds me," said Peter. "Those folks 
you have mentioned nest in holes in trees; do 

; "I should say not," retorted Creeper. "li. 

) don't know of any Warbler who does. I build on- 
the ground, if you want to know. I nest in the 
Green Forest. Sometimes I make my nest in a 
little hollow at the base of a tree ; sometimes I put 
it under a stump or rock or tuck it in under the 
roots of a tree that has been blown over. But 
there, Peter Rabbit, I've talked enough. I'm 
glad you're glad that I'm back, and I'm glad I'm 
back too." *M 

Creeper continued on up the trunk of the tree, 
picking here and picking there. Just then Peter 
caught sight of another friend whom he could 
always tell by the black mask he wore. It was 
Mummer the Yellow-throat. He had just darted 
into the thicket of bushes along the old stone wall. 
Peter promptly hurried over there to look for him. 
When Peter reached the place where he had 
caught a glimpse of Mummer, no one was to be 
seen. Peter sat down, uncertain which way to 
go. Suddenly Mummer popped out right in 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

front of Peter, seemingly from nowhere at all. 
His throat and breast were bright yellow and his 
back wings and tail a soft olive-green. But the 
most remarkable thing about him was the mask of 
black right across his cheeks, eyes and forehead. 
At least it looked like a mask, although it really 
wasn't one. 

"Hello, Mummer !" cried Peter. 

"Hello yourself, Peter Rabbit!" retorted 
Mummer and then disappeared as suddenly as 
he had appeared. Peter blinked and looked in 
vain all about. t ; 

"Looking for some one?" asked Mummer, 
suddenly popping into view where Peter least 
expected him. 

"For goodness' sake, can't you sit still a 
minute?" cried Peter. "How do you expect a 
fellow can talk to you when he can't keep his eyes 
on you more than two seconds at a time." 

"Who asked you to talk to me?" responded 
Mummer, and popped out of sight. Two seconds 
later he was back again and his bright little eyes 
fairly shone with mischief. Then before Peter 
could say a word Mummer burst into a pleasant 
little song. He was so full of happiness that Peter 
couldn't be cross with him. 

"There's one thing I like about you, Mummer," 
declared Peter, "and that is that I never get you 

Three Cousins Quite Unlike 

mixed up with anybody else. I should know you 
just as far as I could see you because of that black 
mask across your face. Has Mrs. Yellow-throat 
arrived yet?" 

/'Certainly," replied another voice, and Mrs. 
Yellow-throat flitted across right in front of Peter. 
For just a second she sat still, long enough for him 
to have one good look at her. She was dressed 
very like Mummer save that she did not wear the 
black mask. 

Peter was just about to say something polite and 
pleasant when from just back of him there sounded 
a loud, very emphatic, "Chut! Chut!" Peter 
whirled about to find another old friend. It was 
Chut-Chut the Yellow-breasted Chat, the largest 
of the Warbler family. He was so much bigger 
than Mummer that it was hard to believe that 
they were own cousins. But Peter knew they 
were, and he also knew that he could never mistake 
Chut-Chut for any other member of the family 
because of his big size, which was that of some of 
the members of the Sparrow family. His back was 
a dark olive-green, but his throat and breast were a 
beautiful bright yellow. There was a broad white 
line above each eye and a little white line under- 
neath. Below his breast he was all white. 

To have seen him you would have thought that 
he suspected Peter might do him some harm. He 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

acted that way. If Peter hadn't known him so well 
he might have been offended. But Peter knew 
that there is no one among his feathered friends 
more cautious than Chut-Chut the Chat. He never 
takes anything for granted. He appears to be 
always on the watch for danger, even to the extent 
of suspecting his very best friends. 

When he had decided in his own mind that 
there was no danger, Chut-Chut came out for 
a little gossip. But like all the rest of the Warblers 
he couldn't keep still. Right in the middle of the 
story of his travels from far-away Mexico he flew 
to the top of a little tree, began to sing, then flew 
out into the air with his legs dangling and his tail 
wagging up and down in the funniest way, and 
there continued his song as he slowly dropped down 
into the thicket again. It was a beautiful song 
and Peter hastened to tell him so. 

Chut-Chut was pleased. He showed it by 
giving a little concert all by himself. It seemed 
to Peter that he never had heard such a variety 
of whistles and calls and songs as came from that 
yellow throat. When it was over Chut-Chut 
abruptly said good-by and disappeared. Peter 
could hear his sharp "Chut! Chut!" farther along 
in the thicket as he hunted for worms among the 

"I wonder," said Peter, speaking out loud 

Three Cousins Quite Unlike 

without thinking, "where he builds his nest. I 
wonder if he builds it on the ground, the way 
Creeper does." 

"No," declared Mummer, who all the time had 
been darting about close at hand. "He doesn't, 
but I do. Chut-Chut puts his nest near the 
ground, however, usually within two or three 
feet. He builds it in bushes or briars. Sometimes 
if I can find a good tangle of briars I build my nest 
in it several feet from the ground, but as a rule 
I would rather have it on the ground under a bush 
or in a clump of weeds. Have you seen my cousin 
Sprite the Pareula Warbler, yet?" 

"Not yet," said Peter, as he started for home. 




FOR several days it seemed to Peter Rabbit that 
everywhere he went he found members of the 
Warbler family. Being anxious to know all of 
them he did his best to remember how each one 
looked, but there were so many and some of them 
were dressed so nearly alike that after a while 
Peter became so mixed that he gave it up as a 
bad job. Then, as suddenly as they had appeared, 
the Warblers disappeared. That is to say, most 
of them disappeared. You see they had only 
stopped for a visit, being on their way farther 

In his interest in the affairs of others of his 
feathered friends, Peter had quite forgotten the 
Warblers. Then one day when he was in the 
Green Forest where the spruce-trees grow, he 
stopped to rest. This particular part of the Green 
Forest was low and damp, and on many of the 
trees gray moss grew, hanging down from the 
branches and making the trees look much older 
than they really were. Peter was staring at a 
hanging bunch of this moss without thinking 

Peter Gets A Lame Neck 

anything about it when suddenly a little bird 
alighted on it and disappeared in it. At least, 
that is what Peter thought. But it was all so 
unexpected that he couldn't be sure his eyes hadn't 
fooled him. 

Of course, right away he became very much in- 
terested in that bunch of moss. He stared at it 
very hard. At first it looked no different from a 
dozen other bunches of moss, but presently he 
noticed that it was a little thicker than other 
bunches, as if somehow it had been woven to- 
gether. He hopped off to one side so he could see 
better. It looked as if in one side of that bunch 
of moss was a little round hole. Peter blinked 
and looked very hard indeed to make sure. A 
minute later there was no doubt at all, for a little 
feathered head was poked out and a second later 
a dainty mite of a bird flew out and alighted very 
close to Peter. It was one of the smaller members 
of the Warbler family. 

"Sprite !" cried Peter joyously. "I missed you 
when your cousins passed through here, and I 
thought you had gone to the Far North with the 
rest of them." 

"Well, I haven't, and what's more I'm not going 
to go on to the Far North. I'm going to stay 
right here," declared Sprite the Parula Warbler, 
for that is who it was. 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

As Peter looked at Sprite he couldn't help 
thinking that there wasn't a daintier member in 
the whole Warbler family. His coat was of a 
soft bluish color with a yellowish patch in the 
very center of his back. Across each wing were 
two bars of white. His throat was yellow. Just 
beneath it was a little band of bluish-black. His 
breast was yellow and his sides were grayish and 

"Sprite, you're just beautiful," declared Peter 
in frank admiration. "What was the reason I 
didn't see you up in the Old Orchard with your 

"Because I wasn't there," was Sprite's prompt 
reply as he flitted about, quite unable to sit still a 
minute. "I wasn't there because I like the Green 
Forest better, so I came straight here." 

"What were you doing just now in that bunch 
of moss?" demanded Peter, a sudden suspicion 
of the truth popping into his head. 

"Just looking it over," replied Sprite, trying to 
look innocent. 

At that very instant Peter looked up just in 
time to see a tail disappearing in the little round 
hole in the side of the bunch of moss. He knew 
that that tail belonged to Mrs. Sprite, and just 
that glimpse told him all he wanted to know. 

"You've got a nest in there!" Peter exclaimed 

Peter Gets A Lame Neck 

excitedly. "There's no use denying it, Sprite; 
you've got a nest in there! What a perfectly 
lovely place for a nest." 

Sprite saw at once that it would be quite use- 
less to try to deceive Peter. "Yes," said he, 
"Mrs. Sprite and I have a nest in there. We've 
just finished it. I think myself it is rather nice. 
We always build in moss like this. All we have 
to do is to find a nice thick bunch and then weave 
it together at the bottom and line the inside with 
fine grasses. It looks so much like all the rest of 
the bunches of moss that it is seldom any one finds 
it. I wouldn't trade nests with anybody I know." 

"Isn't it rather lonesome over here by your- 
selves?" asked Peter. 

"Not at all," replied Sprite. "You see, we are 
not as much alone as you think. My cousin, 
Fidget the Myrtle Warbler, is nesting not very far 
away, and another cousin Weechi the Magnolia 
Warbler is also quite near. Both have begun 
housekeeping already." 

Of course Peter was all excitement and interest 
at once. "Wliere are their homes?" he asked 
eagerly. "Tell me where they are and I'll go 
straight over and call." 

"Peter," said Sprite severely, "you ought to 
know better than to ask me to tell you anything 
of this kind. You have been around enough to 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

know that there is no secret so precious as the 
secret of a home. You happened to find mine, and 
I guess I can trust you not to tell anybody where 
it is. If you can find the homes of Fidget and 
Weechi, all right, but I certainly don't intend to 
tell you where they are." 

Peter knew that Sprite was quite right in refusing 
to tell the secrets of his cousins, but he couldn't 
think of going home without at least looking for 
those homes. He tried to look very innocent as 
he asked if they also were in hanging bunches of 
moss. But Sprite was too smart to be fooled and 
Peter learned nothing at all. 

For some time Peter hopped around this way 
and that way, thinking every bunch of moss he 
saw must surely contain a nest. But though he 
looked and looked and looked, not another little 
round hole did he find, and there were so many 
bunches of moss that finally his neck ached from 
tipping his head back so much. Now Peter hasn't 
as much patience as he might have, so after a 
while he gave up the search and started on his 
way home. On higher ground, just above the low 
swampy place where grew the moss-covered trees, 
he came to a lot of young hemlock-trees. These 
had no moss on them. Having given up his 
search Peter was thinking of other things when 
there flitted across in front of him a black and 

Peter Gets A Lame Neck 

gray bird with a yellow cap, yellow sides, and a 
yellow patch at the root of his tail. Those yellow 
patches were all Peter needed to see to recognize 
Fidget the Myrtle Warbler, one of the two friends 
he had been so long looking for down among the 
moss-covered trees. 

. "Oh, Fidget!" cried Peter, hurrying after the 
restless little bird. " Oh, Fidget ! I've been look- 
ing everywhere for you." 

"Well, here I am," retorted Fidget "You 
didn't look everywhere or you would have found 
me before. What can I do for you?" All the 
time Fidget was hopping and flitting about, never 
still an instant. 

[" "You can tell me where your nest is," replied 
Peter promptly. 

"I can, but I won't," retorted Fidget. "Now 
honestly, Peter, do you think you have any busi- 
ness to ask such a question?" 

Peter hung his head and then replied quite 
honestly, "No I don't, Fidget. But you see 
Sprite told me that you had a nest not very far 
from his and I've looked at bunches of moss until 
I've got a crick in the back of my neck." 

"Bunches of moss ! " exclaimed Fidget. " What 
under the sun do you think I have to do with 
bunches of moss?" 

"Why why I just thought you probably 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

had your nest in one, the same as your cousin 

Fidget laughed right out. "I'm afraid you 
would have a worse crick in the back of your neck 
than you've got now before ever you found my 
nest in a bunch of moss," said he. "Moss may 
suit my cousin Sprite, but it doesn't suit me at all. 
Besides, I don't like those dark places where the 
moss grows on the trees. I build my nest of 
twigs and grass and weed-stalks and I line it with 
hair and rootlets and feathers. Sometimes I 
bind it together with spider silk, and if you really 
want to know, I like a little hemlock-tree to put 
it in. It isn't very far from here, but where it is 
I'm not going to tell you. Have you seen my 
cousin, Weechi?" 

"No," replied Peter. "Is he anywhere around 

"Right here," replied another voice and Weechi 
the Magnolia Warbler dropped down on the ground 
for just a second right in front of Peter. 

The top of his head and the back of his neck were 
gray. Above his eye was a white stripe and his 
cheeks were black. His throat was clear yellow, 
just below which was a black band. From this 
black streaks ran down across his yellow breast. 
At the root of his tail he was yellow. His tail 
was mostly black on top and white underneath. 

Peter Gets A Lame Neck 

His wings were black and gray with two white 
bars. He was a little smaller than Fidget the 
Myrtle Warbler and quite as restless. 

Peter fairly itched to ask Weechi where his nest 
was, but by this time he had learned a lesson, so 
wisely kept his tongue still. 

"What were you fellows talking about?" asked 

"Nests," replied Fidget. "I've just been telling 
Peter that while Cousin Sprite may like to build 
in that hanging moss down there, it wouldn't 
suit me at all." 

"Nor me either," declared Weechi promptly. 
"I prefer to build a real nest just as you do. By 
the way, Fidget, I stopped to look at your nest 
this morning. I find we build a good deal alike 
and we like the same sort of a place to put it. 
I suppose you know that I am a rather near 
neighbor of yours?" 

" Of course I know it," replied Fidget. " In fact 
I watched you start your nest. Don't you think 
you have it rather near the ground?" 

"Not too near, Fidget ; not too near. I am not 
as high-minded as some people. I like to be 
within two or three feet of the ground." 

"I do myself," replied Fidget. 

Fidget and Weechi became so interested in dis- 
cussing nests and the proper way of building them 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

they quite forgot Peter Rabbit. Peter sat 
around for a while listening, but being more in- 
terested in seeing those nests than hearing about 
them, he finally stole away to look for them. 
He looked and looked, but there were so many 
young hemlock-trees and they looked so much 
alike that finally Peter lost patience and gave it 
up as a bad job. 




PETER RABBIT never will forget the first time he 
caught a glimpse of Glory the Cardinal, sometimes 
called Redbird. He had come up to the Old 
Orchard for his usual morning visit and just as he 
hopped over the old stone wall he heard a beautiful 
clear, loud whistle which drew his eyes to the top 
of an apple-tree. Peter stopped short with a little 
gasp of sheer astonishment and delight. Then 
he rubbed his eyes and looked again. He couldn't 
quite believe that he saw what he thought he saw. 
He hadn't supposed that any one, even among the 
feathered folks, could be quite so beautiful. 

The stranger was dressed all in red, excepting a 
little black around the base of his bill. Even his 
bill was red. He wore a beautiful red crest which 
made him still more distinguished looking, and how 
he could sing ! Peter had noticed that quite often 
the most beautifully dressed birds have the poorest 
songs. But this stranger's song was as beautiful 
as his coat, and that was one of the most beautiful, 
if not the most beautiful, that Peter ever had seen. 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

Of course he lost no time in hunting up Jenny 
Wren. "Who is it, Jenny? Who is that beauti- 
ful stranger with such a lovely song ?" cried Peter, 
as soon as he caught sight of Jenny. 

"It's Glory the Cardinal," replied Jenny Wren 
promptly. "Isn't he the loveliest thing you've 
ever seen ? I do hope he is going to stay here. As 
I said before, I don't often envy any one's fine 
clothes, but when I see Glory I'm sometimes 
tempted to be envious. If I were Mrs. Cardinal 
I'm afraid I should be jealous. There she is in 
the very same tree with him. Did you ever see 
such a difference?" 

Peter looked eagerly. Instead of the glorious 
red of Glory, Mrs. Cardinal wore a very dull dress. 
Her back was a brownish-gray. Her throat was 
a grayish-black. Her breast was a dull buff with 
a faint tinge of red. Her wings and tail were 
tinged with dull red. Altogether she was very 
soberly dressed, but a trim, neat looking little per- 
son. But if she wasn't handsomely dressed she 
could sing. In fact she was almost as good a 
singer as her handsome husband. 

"I've noticed," said Peter, "that people with 
fine clothes spend most of their time thinking 
about them and are of very little use when it comes 
to real work in life." 

" Well, you needn't think that of Glory ," declared 

GLORY THE CARDINAL. He is often called Redbird. You cannot mis. 
take him. 

KITTY THE CATBIRD. His black crown and slaty-gray coat make him 
easy to recognize. 

A New Friend and An Old One 

Jenny in her vigorous way. "He's just as fine as 
he is handsome. He's a model husband. If they 
make their home around here you'll find him doing 
his full share in the care of their babies. Sometimes 
they raise two families. When they do that, 
Glory takes charge of the first lot of youngsters as 
soon as they are able to leave the nest so that Mrs. 
Cardinal has nothing to worry about while she 
is sitting on the second lot of eggs. He fusses over 
them as if they were the only children in the world. 
Everybody loves Glory. Excuse me, Peter, I'm 
going over to find out if they are really going to 

When Jenny returned she was so excited she 
couldn't keep still a minute. "They like here, 
Peter !" she cried. "They like here so much that 
if they can find a place to suit them for a nest 
they're going to stay. I told them that it is the 
very best place in the world. They like an evergreen 
tree to build in, and I think they've got their eyes 
on those evergreens up near Farmer Brown's house. 
My, they will add a lot to the quality of this neigh- 

Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal whistled and sang as if 
their hearts were bursting with joy, and Peter sat 
around listening as if he had nothing else in the 
world to do. Probably he would have sat there the 
rest of the morning had he not caught sight of an 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

old friend of whom he is very fond, Kitty the Cat- 
bird. In contrast with Glory, Kitty seemed a reg- 
ular little Quaker, for he was dressed almost wholly 
in gray, a rather dark, slaty-gray. The top of 
his head and tail were black, and right at the base 
of his tail was a patch of chestnut color. He was 
a little smaller than Welcome Robin. There was 
no danger of mistaking him for anybody else, for 
there is no one dressed at all like him. 

Peter forgot all about Glory in his pleasure at 
discovering the returned Kitty and hurried over to 
welcome him. Kitty had disappeared among the 
bushes along the old stone wall, but Peter had no 
trouble in finding him by the queer cries he was 
uttering, which were very like the meow of Black 
Pussy the Cat. They were very harsh and un- 
pleasant and Peter understood perfectly why their 
maker is called the Catbird. He did not hurry in 
among the bushes at once but waited expectantly. 
In a few minutes the harsh cries ceased and then 
there came from the very same place a song which 
seemed to be made up of parts of the songs of all 
the other birds of the Old Orchard. It was not 
loud, but it was charming. It contained the 
clear whistle of Glory, and there was even the tinkle 
of Little Friend the Song Sparrow. The notes of 
other friends were in that song, and with them were 
notes of southern birds whose songs Kitty had 
[ 202 ] 

A New Friend and An Old One 

learned while spending the winter in the South. 
Then there were notes all his own. 

Peter listened until the song ended, then scam- 
pered in among the bushes. At once those harsh 
cries broke out again. You would have thought 
that Kitty was scolding Peter for coming to see 
him instead of being glad. But that was just 
Kitty's way. He is simply brimming over with 
fun and mischief, and delights to pretend. 

When Peter found him, he was sitting with all 
his feathers puffed out until he looked almost like a 
ball with a head and tail. He looked positively 
sleepy. Then as he caught sight of Peter he drew 
those feathers down tight, cocked his tail up after 
the manner of Jenny Wren, and was as slim and 
trim looking as any bird of Peter's acquaintance. 
He didn't look at all like the same bird of the 
moment before. Then he dropped his tail as if he 
hadn't strength enough to hold it up at all. It 
hung straight down. He dropped his wings and all 
in a second made himself look fairly disreputa- 
ble. But all the time his eyes were twinkling and 
snapping, and Peter knew that these changes in 
appearance were made out of pure fun and 

"I've been wondering if you were coming back," 
cried Peter. "I don't know of any one of my 
feathered friends I would miss so much as you," 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

"Thank you," responded Kitty. "It's very 
nice of you to say that, Peter. If you are glad to 
see me I am still more glad to get back." 

"Did you pass a pleasant winter down South?" 
asked Peter. 

"Fairly so. Fairly so," replied Kitty. "By 
the way, Peter, I picked up some new songs down 
there. Would you like to hear them ?" 

"Of course," replied Peter, "but I don't think 
you need any new songs. I've never seen such a 
fellow for picking up other people's songs excepting 
Mocker the Mockingbird." 

At the mention of Mocker a little cloud crossed 
Kitty's face for just an instant. "There's a fellow 
I really envy," said he. "I'm pretty good at 
imitating others, but Mocker is better. I'm hop- 
ing that, if I practice enough, some day I can be 
as good. I saw a lot of him in the South and he 
certainly is clever." 

"Huh ! You don't need to envy him," retorted 
Peter. "You are some imitator yourself. How 
about those new notes you got when you were in 
the South?" 

Kitty's face cleared, his throat swelled and he 
began to sing. It was a regular medley. It didn't 
seem as if so many notes could come from one 
throat. When it ended Peter had a question all 


A New Friend and An Old One 

"Are you going to build somewhere near here?" 
he asked. 

" I certainly am," replied Kitty.- " Mrs. Catbird 
was delayed a day or two. I hope she'll get here 
to-day and then we'll get busy at once. I think we 
shall build in these bushes here somewhere. I'm 
glad Farmer Brown has sense enough to let them 
grow. They are just the kind of a place I like for a 
nest. They are near enough to Farmer Brown's 
garden, and the Old Orchard is right here. That's 
just the kind of a combination that suits me." 

Peter looked somewhat uncertain. "Why do 
you want to be near Farmer Brown's garden?" he 

"Because that is where I will get a good part of 
my living," Kitty responded promptly. "He 
ought to be glad to have me about. Once in a 
while I take a little fruit, but 'I pay for it ten tunes 
over by the number of bugs and worms I get in his 
garden and the Old Orchard. I pride myself on 
being useful. There's nothing like being useful 
in this world, Peter." 

Peter nodded as if he quite agreed. Though, as 
you know and I know, Peter himself does very 
little except fill his own big stomach. 




"Wno's that?" Peter Rabbit pricked up his 
long ears and stared up at the tops of the trees of 
the Old Orchard. 

Instantly Jenny Wren popped her head out of her 
doorway. She cocked her head on one side to 
listen, then looked down at Peter, and her sharp 
little eyes snapped. 

" I don't hear any strange voice," said she. "The 
way you are staring, Peter Rabbit, one would think 
that you had really heard something new and worth 

Just then there were two or three rather sharp, 
squeaky notes from the top of one of the trees. 
"There !" cried Peter. "There ! Didn't you hear 
that, Jenny Wren ?" 

"For goodness' sake, Peter Rabbit, you don't 
mean to say you don't know whose voice that is," 
she cried. "That's Rosebreast. He and Mrs. 
Rosebreast have been here for quite a little while. I 
didn't suppose there was any one who didn't know 
those sharp, squeaky voices. They rather get on 
my nerves. What anybody wants to squeak like 
[ 206 ] 

Peter Sees Rosebreast and Finds Redcoat 

that for when they can sing as Rosebreast can, is 
more than I can understand." 

At that very instant Mr. Wren began to scold as 
only he and Jenny can. Peter looked up at Jenny 
and winked slyly. "And what anybody wants to 
scold like that for when they can sing as Mr. 
Wren can, is too much for me," retorted Peter. 
"But you haven't told me who Rosebreast is." 

"The Grosbeak, of course, stupid," sputtered 
Jenny. "If you don't know Rosebreast the Gros- 
beak, Peter Rabbit, you certainly must have been 
blind and deaf ever since you were born. Listen 
to that ! Just listen to that song !" 

Peter listened. There were many songs, for it 
was a very beautiful morning and all the singers of 
the Old Orchard were pouring out the joy that was 
within them. One song was a little louder and 
clearer than the others because it came from a tree 
very close at hand, the very tree from which those 
squeaky notes had come just a few minutes before. 
Peter suspected that that must be the song Jenny 
Wren meant. He looked puzzled. He was puz- 
zled. "Do you mean Welcome Robin's song ?" he 
asked rather sheepishly, for he had a feeling that he 
would be the victim of Jenny Wren's sharp tongue. 

"No, I don't mean Welcome Robin's song," 
snapped Jenny. "What good are a pair of long 
ears if they can't tell one song from another ? That 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

song may sound something like Welcome Robin's, 
but if your ears were good for anything at all you'd 
know right away that that isn't Welcome Robin 
singing. That's a better song than Welcome 
Robin's. Welcome Robin's song is one of good 
cheer, but this one is of pure happiness. I wouldn't 
have a pair of ears like yours for anything in the 
world, Peter Rabbit." 

Peter laughed right out as he tried to picture to 
himself Jenny Wren with a pair of long ears like his. 
"What are you laughing at?" demanded Jenny 
crossly. "Don't you dare laugh at me ! If there is 
any one thing I can't stand it is being laughed 

"I wasn't laughing at you," replied Peter very 
meekly. "I was just laughing at the thought of 
how funny you would look with a pair of long ears 
like mine. Now you speak of it, Jenny, that song 
is quite different from Welcome Robin's." 

"Of course it is," retorted Jenny. "That is 
Rosebreast singing up there, and there he is right 
in the top of that tree. Isn't he handsome?" 

Peter looked up to see a bird a little smaller than 
Welcome Robin. His head, throat and back were 
black. His wings were black with patches of white 
on them. But it was his breast that made Peter 
catch his breath with a little gasp of admiration, 
for that breast was a beautiful rose-red. The rest 

Peter Sees Rosebreast and Finds Redcoat 

of him underneath was white. It was Rosebreast 
the Grosbeak. 

"Isn't he lovely!" cried Peter, and added in 
the next breath, "Who is that with him?" 

"Mrs. Grosbeak, of course. Who else would it 
be?" sputtered Jenny rather crossly, for she was 
still a little put out because she had been laughed 

"I would never have guessed it," said Peter. 
"She doesn't look the least bit like him." 

This was quite true. There was no beautiful 
rose color about Mrs. Grosbeak. She was dressed 
chiefly in brown and grayish colors with a little 
buff here and there and with dark streaks on her 
breast. Over each eye was a whitish line. Al- 
together she looked more as if she might be a big 
member of the Sparrow family than the wife of 
handsome Rosebreast. While Rosebreast sang, 
Mrs. Grosbeak was very busily picking buds and 
blossoms from the tree. 

"What is she doing that for?" inquired Peter. 

"For the same reason that you bite off sweet 
clover blossoms and leaves," replied Jenny Wren 

"Do you mean to say that they live on buds 
and blossoms?" cried Peter. "I never heard of 
such a thing." 

"Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut! You can ask more silly 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

questions than anybody of my acquaintance," 
retorted Jenny Wren. "Of course they don't live 
on buds and blossoms. If they did they would 
soon starve to death, for buds and blossoms don't 
last long. They eat a few just for variety, but they 
live mostly on bugs and insects. You ask Farmer 
Brown's boy who helps him most in his potato 
patch, and he'll tell you it's the Grosbeaks. They 
certainly do love potato bugs. They eat some 
fruit, but on the whole they are about as useful 
around a garden as any one I know. Now run 
along, Peter Rabbit, and don't bother me any 

Seeing Farmer Brown's boy coming through the 
Old Orchard Peter decided that it was high time for 
him to depart. So he scampered for the Green 
Forest, lipperty-lipperty-lip. Just within the edge 
of the Green Forest he caught sight of something 
which for the time being put all thought of Farmer 
Brown's boy out of his head. Fluttering on the 
ground was a bird than whom not even Glory the 
Cardinal was more beautiful. It was about the 
size of Redwing the Blackbird. Wings and tail 
were pure black and all the rest was a beautiful 
scarlet. It was Redcoat the Tanager. At first 
Peter had eyes only for the wonderful beauty of 
Redcoat. Never before had he seen Redcoat so 
close at hand. Then quite suddenly it came over 

REDCOAT THE SCARLET TANAGER. He is all red save his black 
wings and tail. 

ROSEBREAST THE GROSBEAK. You cannot mistake this black and 
white bird with the rose-colored breast for any one else. It is the Rose, 
breasted Grosbeak. 

Peter Sees Rosebreast and Finds Redcoat 

Peter that something was wrong with Redcoat, 
and he hurried forward to see what the trouble 
might be. 

Redcoat heard the rustle of Peter's feet among 
the dry leaves and at once began to flap and flutter 
in an effort to fly away, but he could not get off the 
ground. "What is it, Redcoat? Has something 
happened to you ? It is just Peter Rabbit. You 
don't have anything to fear from me," cried Peter. 

The look of terror which had been in the eyes of 
Redcoat died out, and he stopped fluttering and 
simply lay panting. 

"Oh, Peter," he gasped, "y u don't know how 
glad I am that it is only you. I've had a terrible 
accident, and I don't know what I am to do. I 
can't fly, and if I have to stay on the ground some 
enemy will be sure to get me. What shall I do, 
Peter ? What shall I do ?" 

Right away Peter was full of sympathy. "What 
kind of an accident was it, Redcoat, and how did 
it happen ?" he asked. 

"Broadwing the Hawk tried to catch me," 
sobbed Redcoat. "In dodging him among the 
trees I was heedless for a moment and did not see 
just where I was going. I struck a sharp-pointed 
dead twig and drove it right through my right 
wing." i , >; 

Redcoat held up his right wing and sure enough 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

there was a little stick projecting from both sides 
close up to the shoulder. The wing was bleeding 
a little. 

"Oh, dear, whatever shall I do, Peter Rabbit? 
Whatever shall I do ?" sobbed Redcoat. 

"Does it pain you dreadfully ?" asked Peter. 

Redcoat nodded. "But I don't mind the pain," 
he hastened to say. "It is the thought of what 
may happen to me." 

Meanwhile Mrs. Tanager was flying about in 
the tree tops near at hand and calling anxiously. 
She was dressed almost wholly in light olive-green 
and greenish-yellow. She looked no more like 
beautiful Redcoat than did Mrs. Grosbeak like 

"Can't you fly up just a little way so as to get 
off the ground?" she cried anxiously. "Isn't it 
dreadful, Peter Rabbit, to have such an accident ? 
We've just got our nest half built, and I don't 
know what I shall do if anything happens to Red- 
coat. Oh, dear, here comes somebody ! Hide, 
Redcoat ! Hide !" Mrs. Tanager flew off a short 
distance to one side and began to cry as if in the 
greatest distress. Peter knew instantly that she 
was crying to get the attention of whoever was 

Poor Redcoat, with the old look of terror in his 
eyes, fluttered along, trying to find something under 

Peter Sees Rosebreast and Finds Redcoat 

which to hide. But there was nothing under which 
he could crawl, and there was no hiding that won- 
derful red coat. Peter heard the sound of heavy 
footsteps, and looking back, saw that Farmer 
Brown's boy was coming. "Don't be afraid, 
Redcoat," he whispered. "It's Farmer Brown's 
boy and I'm sure he won't hurt you. Perhaps he 
can help you." Then Peter scampered off for a 
short distance and sat up to watch what would 

Of course Farmer Brown's boy saw Redcoat. 
No one with any eyes at all could have helped seeing 
him, because of that wonderful scarlet coat. He 
saw, too, by the way Redcoat was acting, that he 
was in great trouble. As Farmer Brown's boy 
drew near and Redcoat saw that he was discovered, 
he tried his hardest to nutter away. Farmer 
Brown's boy understood instantly that some- 
thing was wrong with one wing, and running for- 
ward, he caught Redcoat. 

"You poor little thing. You poor, beautiful 
little creature," said Farmer Brown's boy softly 
as he saw the cruel twig sticking through Red- 
coats' shoulder. "We'll have to get that out right 
away," continued Farmer Brown's boy, stroking 
Redcoat ever so gently. 

Somehow at that gentle touch Redcoat lost much 
of his fear, and a little hope sprang in his heart. 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

This was no enemy, but a friend. Farmer Brown's 
boy took out his knife and carefully cut off the twig 
on the upper side of the wing. Then, doing his 
best to be careful and to hurt as little as possible, 
he worked the other part of the twig out from the 
under side. Carefully he examined the wing to 
see if any bones were broken. None were, and 
after holding Redcoat a few minutes he carefully 
set him up in a tree and withdrew a short distance. 
Redcoat hopped from branch to branch until he 
was halfway up the tree. Then he sat there for 
some time as if fearful of trying that injured wing. 
Meanwhile Mrs. Tanager came and fussed about 
him and talked to him and coaxed him and made as 
much of him as if he were a baby. 

Peter remained right where he was until at last 
he saw Redcoat spread his black wings and fly to 
another tree. From tree to tree he flew, resting 
a bit in each until he and Mrs. Tanager disappeared 
in the Green Forest. 

"I knew Farmer Brown's boy would help him, 
and I'm so glad he found him," cried Peter happily 
and started for the dear Old Briar-patch. 




OVER in a maple-tree on the edge of Farmer 
Brown's door yard lived Mr. and Mrs. Redeye the 
Vireos. Peter Rabbit knew that they had a nest 
there because Jenny Wren had told him so. He 
would have guessed it anyway, because Redeye 
spent so much time in that tree during the nesting 
season. No matter what hour of the day Peter 
visited the Old Orchard he heard Redeye singing 
over in the maple-tree. Peter used to think that 
if song is an expression of happiness, Redeye must 
be the happiest of all birds. 

He was a little fellow about the size of one of 
the larger Warblers and quite as modestly dressed 
as any of Peter's acquaintances. The crown of 
his head was gray with a little blackish border on 
either side. Over each eye was a white line. 
Underneath he was white. For the rest he was 
dressed in light olive-green. The first time he 
came down near enough for Peter to see him well 
Peter understood at once why he is called Redeye. 
His eyes were red. Yes, sir, his eyes were red, 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

and this fact alone was enough to distinguish him 
from any other members of his family. 

But it wasn't often that Redeye came down so 
near the ground that Peter could see his eyes. 
He preferred to spend most of his time in the 
tree tops, and Peter only got glimpses of him now 
and then. But if he didn't see him often it was 
less often that he failed to hear him. "I don't 
see when Redeye finds time to eat," declared Peter 
as he listened to the seemingly unending song in the 

"Redeye believes in singing while he works," 
said Jenny Wren. "For my part I should think 
he'd wear his throat out. When other birds sing 
they don't do anything else, but Redeye sings all 
the time he is hunting his meals and only stops 
long enough to swallow a worm or a bug when he 
finds it. Just as soon as it is down he begins to 
sing again while he hunts for another. I must say 
for the Redeyes that they are mighty good nest 
builders. Have you seen their nest over in that 
maple-tree, Peter ?" 

Peter shook his head. "I don't dare go over 
there except very early in the morning before 
Farmer Brown's folks are awake," said he, "so I 
haven't had much chance to look for it." 

"You probably couldn't see it, anyway," de- 
clared Jenny Wren. "They have placed it rather 

The Constant Singers 

high up from the ground and those leaves are so 
thick that they hide it. It's a regular little basket 
fastened in a fork near the end of a branch and it 
is woven almost as nicely as is the nest of Goldy 
the Oriole. How anybody has the patience to 
weave a nest like that is beyond me." 

"What's it made of?" asked Peter. 

"Strips of bark, plant down, spider's web, grass, 
and pieces of paper!" replied Jenny. "That's a 
funny thing about Redeye ; he dearly loves a piece 
of paper in his nest. What for, I can't imagine. 
He's as fussy about having a scrap of paper as 
Cresty the Flycatcher is about having a piece of 
Snakeskin. I had just a peep into that nest a few 
days ago and unless I am greatly mistaken Sally Sly 
the Cowbird has managed to impose on the Red- 
eyes. I am certain I saw one of her eggs in that 

A few mornings after this talk with Jenny Wren 
about Redeye the Vireo Peter once more visited 
the Old Orchard. No sooner did he come in sight 
than Jenny Wren's tongue began to fly. "What 
did I tell you, Peter Rabbit? What did I tell 
you ? I knew it was so, and it is !" cried Jenny. 

"What is so ? " asked Peter rather testily, for he 
hadn't the least idea what Jenny Wren was talking 

"Sally Sly did lay an egg in Redeye's nest, and 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

now it has hatched and I don't know whatever is 
to become of Redeye's own children. It's perfectly 
scandalous ! That's what it is, perfectly scandal- 
ous !" cried Jenny, and hopped about and jerked 
her tail and worked herself into a small brown 

"The Redeyes are working themselves to feath- 
ers and bone feeding that ugly young Cowbird 
while their own babies aren't getting half enough 
to eat," continued Jenny. "One of them has died 
already. He was kicked out of the nest by that 
young brute." 

" How dreadful !" cried Peter. " If he does things 
like that I should think the Redeyes would throw 
him out of the nest." 

"They're too soft-hearted," declared Jenny. 
"I can tell you I wouldn't be so soft-hearted if I 
were in their place. No, sir-ee, I wouldn't ! But 
they say it isn't his fault that he's there, and that 
he's nothing but a helpless baby, and so they just 
take care of him." 

"Then why don't they feed their own babies 
first and give him what's left ?" demanded Peter. 

"Because he's twice as big as any of their own 
babies and so strong and greedy that he simply 
snatches the food out of the very mouths of the 
others. Because he gets most of the food, he's 
growing twice as fast as they are. I wouldn't be 

The Constant Singers 

surprised if he kicks all the rest of them out before 
he gets through. Mr. and Mrs. Redeye are dread- 
fully distressed about it, but they will feed him 
because they say it isn't his fault. It's a dreadful 
affair and the talk of the whole Orchard. I sup- 
pose his mother is off gadding somewhere, having a 
good time and not caring a flip of her tail feathers 
what becomes of him. I believe in being good- 
hearted, but there is such a thing as overdoing the 
matter. Thank goodness I'm not so weak-minded 
that I can be imposed on in any such way as 

"Speaking of the Vireos, Redeye seems to be the 
only member of his family around here," remarked 

"Listen!" commanded Jenny Wren. "Don't 
you hear that warbling song 'way over in the big 
elm in front of Farmer Brown's house where Goldy 
the oriole has his nest ?" 

Peter listened. At first he didn't hear it, and 
as usual Jenny Wren made fun of him for having 
such big ears and not being able to make better 
use of them. Presently he did hear it. The voice 
was not unlike that of Redeye, but the song was 
smoother, more continuous and sweeter. Peter's 
face lighted up. "I hear it," he cried. 

"That's Redeye's cousin, the Warbling Vireo," 
said Jenny. "He's a better singer than Redeye 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

and just as fond of hearing his own voice. He 
sings from the time jolly Mr. Sun gets up in the 
morning until he goes to bed at night. He sings 
when it is so hot that the rest of us are glad to keep 
still for comfort's sake. I don't know of anybody 
more fond of the tree tops than he is. He doesn't 
seem to care anything about the Old Orchard, but 
stays over in those big trees along the road. He's 
got a nest over in that big elm and it is as high up 
as that of Goldy the Oriole. I haven't seen it 
myself, but Goldy told me about it. Why any one 
so small should want to live so high up in the world 
I don't know, any more than I know why any one 
wants to live anywhere but in the Old Orchard." 

"Somehow I don't remember just what Warble 
looks like," Peter confessed. 

"He looks a lot like his cousin, Redeye," replied 
Jenny. "His coat is a little duller olive-green and 
underneath he is a little bit yellowish instead of be- 
ing white. Of course he doesn't have red eyes, and 
he is a little smaller than Redeye. The whole fam- 
ily looks pretty much alike anyway." 

"You said something then, Jenny Wren," de- 
clared Peter. "They get me all mixed up. If only 
some of them had some bright colors it would be 
easier to tell them apart." 

"One has," replied Jenny Wren. "He has a 
bright yellow throat and breast and is called the 

The Constant Singers 

Yellow-throated Vireo. There isn't the least 
chance of mistaking him." 

"Is he a singer, too ?" asked Peter. 

"Of course," replied Jenny. "Every one of 
that blessed family loves the sound of his own 
voice. It's a family trait. Sometimes it just 
makes my throat sore to listen to them all day long. 
A good thing is good, but more than enough of a 
good thing is too much. That applies to gossiping 
just as well as to singing and I've wasted more time 
on you than I've any business to. Now hop along, 
Peter, and don't bother me any more to-day." 

Peter hopped. 



PETER RABBIT never will forget his surprise 
when Jenny Wren asked him one spring morning if 
he had seen anything of her big cousin. Peter 
hesitated. As a matter of fact, he couldn't think 
of any big cousin of Jenny Wren. All the cousins 
he knew anything about were very nearly Jenny's 
own size. 

Now Jenny Wren is one of the most impatient 
small persons in the world. "Well, well, well, 
Peter, have you lost your tongue ?" she chattered. 
" Can't you answer a simple question without tak- 
ing all day about it ? Have you seen anything of 
my big cousin ? It is high time for him to be here." 

" You needn't be so cross about it if I am slow," 
replied Peter. "I'm just trying to think who your 
big cousin is. I guess, to be quite honest, I don't 
know him." 

"Don't know him ! Don't know him !" sputtered 
Jenny. "Of course you know him. You can't 
help but know him. I mean Brownie the Thrasher." 

In his surprise Peter fairly jumped right off the 

BROWNIE THE THRASHER. You cannot mistake him because of his 
bright reddish-brown coat, long tail and spotted breast. 

CHEWINK THE TOWHEE. He is black and white with reddish-brown 
sides, usually on the ground in a thicket. 

Jenny Wren's Cousins 

ground. "What's that?" he exclaimed. "Since 
when was Brownie the Thrasher related to the 
Wren family?" 

"Ever since there have been any Wrens and 
Thrashers," retorted Jenny. "Brownie belongs to 
one branch of the family and I belong to another, 
and that makes him my second cousin. It cer- 
tainly is surprising how little some folks know." 
i "But I have always supposed he belonged to the 
Thrush family," protested Peter. "He certainly 
looks like a Thrush." 

"Looking like one doesn't make him one," 
snapped Jenny. "By this time you ought to have 
learned that you never can judge anybody just by 
looks. It always makes me provoked to hear 
Brownie called the Brown Thrush. There isn't a 
drop of Thrush blood in him. But you haven't 
answered my question yet, Peter Rabbit. I want 
to know if he has got here yet." 

"Yes," said Peter. "I saw him only yesterday 
on the edge of the Old Pasture. He was fussing 
around in the bushes and on the ground and jerking 
that long tail of his up and down and sidewise as if 
he couldn't decide what to do with it. I've never 
seen anybody twitch their tail around the way he 

Jenny Wren giggled. "That's just like him," 
said she. " It is because he thrashes his tail around 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

so much that he is called a Thrasher. I suppose 
he was wearing his new spring suit." 

"I don't know whether it was a new suit or not 
but it was mighty good looking," replied Peter. 
"I just love that beautiful reddish-brown of his 
back, wings and tail, and it certainly does set off 
his white and buff waistcoat with those dark streaks 
and spots. You must admit, Jenny Wren, that any 
one seeing him dressed so much like the Thrushes 
is to be excused for thinking him a Thrush." 

"I suppose so," admitted Jenny rather grudg- 
ingly. "But none of the Thrushes have such a bright 
brown coat. Brownie is handsome, if I do say so. 
Did you notice what a long bill he has ?" 

Peter nodded. "And I noticed that he had two 
white bars on each wing," said he. 

"I'm glad you're so observing," replied Jenny 
dryly. "Did you hear him sing ?" 

"Did I hear him sing!" cried Peter, his eyes 
shining at the memory. "He sang especially for 
me. He flew up to the top of a tree, tipped his head 
back and sang as few birds I know of can sing. 
He has a wonderful voice, has Brownie. I don't 
know of anybody I enjoy listening to more. And 
when he's singing he acts as if he enjoyed it himself 
and knows what a good singer he is. I noticed 
that long tail of his hung straight down the same 
way Mr. Wren's does when he sings." 

Jenny Wrens Cousins 

, "Of course it did," replied Jenny promptly. 
"That's a family trait. The tails of both my 
other big cousins do the same thing." 

" Wha-wha-what's that? Have you got more 
big cousins?" cried Peter, staring up at Jenny 
as if she were some strange person he never had 
seen before. 

"Certainly," retorted Jenny. "Mocker the 
Mockingbird and Kitty the Catbird belong to 
Brownie's family, and that makes them second 
cousins to me." 

Such a funny expression as there was on Peter's 
face. He felt that Jenny Wren was telling the 
truth, but it was surprising news to him and so hard 
to believe that for a few minutes he couldn't find 
his tongue to ask another question. Finally he 
ventured to ask very timidly, "Does Brownie 
imitate the songs of other birds the way Mocker 
and Kitty do?" 

Jenny Wren shook her head very decidedly. 
"No," said she. "He's perfectly satisfied with his 
own song." Before she could add anything further 
the clear whistle of Glory the Cardinal sounded 
from a tree just a little way off. Instantly Peter 
forgot all about Jenny Wren's relatives and scam- 
pered over to that tree. You see Glory is so 
beautiful that Peter never loses a chance to see him. 

As Beter sat staring up into tlje tree, trying to 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

get a glimpse of Glory's beautiful red coat, the clear, 
sweet whistle sounded once more. It drew Peter's 
eyes to one of the upper branches, but instead of 
the beautiful, brilliant coat of Glory the Cardinal 
he saw a bird about the size of Welcome Robin 
dressed in sober ashy-gray with two white bars on 
his wings, and white feathers on the outer edges of 
his tail. He was very trim and neat and his tail 
hung straight down after the manner of Brownie's 
when he was singing. It was a long tail, but not as 
long as Brownie's. Even as Peter blinked and 
stared in surprise the stranger opened his mouth 
and from it came Glory's own beautiful whistle. 
Then the stranger looked down at Peter, and his 
eyes twinkled with mischief. 

"Fooled you that time, didn't I, Peter?" he 
chuckled. "You thought you were going to see 
Glory the Cardinal, didn't you?" 

Then without waiting for Peter to reply, this 
sober-looking stranger gave such a concert as no 
one else in the world could give. From that won- 
derful throat poured out song after song and note 
after note of Peter's familiar friends of the Old 
Orchard, and the performance wound up with a 
lovely song which was all the stranger's own. Peter 
didn't have to be told who the stranger was. It 
was Mocker the Mockingbird. 

"Oh !" gasped Peter. "Oh, Mocker, how under 

Jenny Wren's Cousins 

the sun do you do it ? I was sure that it was Glory 
whom I heard whistling. Never again will I be 
able to believe my own ears." 

Mocker chuckled. "You're not the only one 
I've fooled, Peter," said he. "I flatter myself 
that I can fool almost anybody if I set out to. It's 
lots of fun. I may not be much to look at, but 
when it comes to singing there's no one I envy." 

"I think you are very nice looking indeed," 
replied Peter politely. "I've just been finding 
out this morning that you can't tell much about 
folks just by their looks." 

"And now you've learned that you can't always 
recognize folks by their voices, haven't you?" 
chuckled Mocker. 

"Yes," replied Peter. "Hereafter I shall never 
be sure about any feathered folks unless I can both 
see and hear them. Won't you sing for me again, 

Mocker did. He sang and sang, for he dearly 
loves to sing. When he finished Peter had another 
question ready. "Somebody told ,me once that 
down in the South you are the best loved of all the 
birds. Is that so ?" 

"That's not for me to say," replied Mocker 
modestly. "But I can tell you this, Peter, they do 
think a lot of me down there. There are many 
birds down there who are very beautifully dressed, 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

birds who don't come up here at all. But not one 
of them is loved as I am, and it is all on account of 
my voice. I would rather have a beautiful voice 
than a fine coat." 

Peter nodded as if he quite agreed, which, when 
you think of it, is rather funny, for Peter has neither 
a fine coat nor a fine voice. A glint of mischief 
sparkled in Mocker's eyes. " There's Mrs. Goldy 
the Oriole over there," said he. "Watch me fool 

He began to call in exact imitation of Goldy's 
voice when he is anxious about something. At 
once Mrs. Goldy came hurrying over to find out 
what the trouble was. When she discovered 
Mocker she lost her temper and scolded him 
roundly ; then she flew away a perfect picture of 
indignation. Mocker and Peter laughed, for they 
thought it a good joke. 

Suddenly Peter remembered what Jenny Wren 
had told him. "Was Jenny Wren telling me the 
truth when she said that you are a second cousin of 
hers ?" he asked. 

Mocker nodded. "Yes," said he, "we are 
relatives. We each belong to a branch of the same 
family." Then he burst into Mr. Wren's own 
song, after which he excused himself and went to 
look for Mrs. Mocker. For, as he explained, it was 
time for them to be thinking of a nest. 



JOLLY, round, red Mr. Sun was just going to bed 
behind the Purple Hills and the Black Shadows 
had begun to creep all through the Green Forest and 
out across the Green Meadows. It was the hour 
of the day Peter Rabbit loves best. He sat on the 
edge of the Green Forest watching for the first 
little star to twinkle high up in the sky. Peter felt 
at peace with all the Great World, for it was the 
hour of peace, the hour of rest for those who had 
been busy all through the shining day. 

Most of Peter's feathered friends had settled 
themselves for the coming night, the worries and 
cares of the day over and forgotten. All the Great 
World seemed hushed. In the distance Sweet- 
voice the Vesper Sparrow was pouring out his 
evening song, for it was the hour when he dearly 
loves to sing. Far back in the Green Forest Whip- 
poor-will was calling as if his very life depended on 
the number of times he could say, "Whip poor 
Will," without taking a breath. From overhead 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

came now and then the sharp, rather harsh cry of 
Boomer the Nighthawk, as he hunted his supper in 
the air. 

For a time it seemed as if these were the only 
feathered friends still awake, and Peter couldn't 
help thinking that those who went so early to bed 
missed the most beautiful hour of the whole day. 
Then, from a tree just back of him, there poured 
forth a song so clear, so sweet, so wonderfully suited 
to that peaceful hour, that Peter held his breath 
until it was finished. He knew that singer and 
loved him. It was Melody the Wood Thrush. 

When the song ended Peter hopped over to the 
tree from which it had come. It was still light 
enough for him to see the sweet singer. He sat 
on a branch near the top, his head thrown back and 
his soft, full throat throbbing with the flute-like 
notes he was pouring forth. He was a little smaller 
than Welcome Robin. His coat was a beautiful 
reddish-brown, not quite so bright as that of 
Brownie the Thrasher. Beneath he was white 
with large, black spots thickly dotting his breast 
and sides. He was singing as if he were trying to 
put into those beautiful notes all the joy of life. 
Listening to it Peter felt steal over him a wonder- 
ful feeling of peace and pure happiness. Not for 
the world would he have interrupted it. 

The Black Shadows crept far across the Green 

MELODY THE WOOD THRUSH. His sides are spotted like his breast. 

TEACHER THE OVEN BIRD. You can tell him by the way he repeats 
his own name. 

Voices of the Dusk 

Meadows and it became so dusky in the Green 
Forest that Peter could barely make out the sweet 
singer above his head. Still Melody sang on and 
the hush of eventide grew deeper, as if all the Great 
World were holding its breath to listen. It was not 
until several little stars had begun to twinkle high 
up in the sky that Melody stopped singing and 
sought the safety of his hidden perch for the night. 
Peter felt sure that somewhere near was a nest 
and that one thing which had made that song so 
beautiful was the love Melody had been trying to 
express to the little mate sitting on the eggs that 
nest must contain. "I'll just run over here early 
in the morning," thought Peter. 

Now Peter is a great hand to stay out all night, 
and that is just what he did that night. Just before 
it was time for jolly, round, red Mr. Sun to kick off 
his rosy blankets and begin his daily climb up in 
the blue, blue sky, Peter started for home in the 
dear Old Briar-patch. Everywhere in the Green 
Forest, in the Old Orchard, on the Green Meadows, 
his feathered friends were awakening. He had 
quite forgotten his intention to visit Melody and 
was reminded of it only when again he heard those 
beautiful flute-like notes. At once he scampered 
over to where he had spent such a peaceful hour 
the evening before. Melody saw him at once and 
dropped down on the ground for a little gossip 

The Burgess Bird Boole for Children 

while he scratched among the leaves in search of 
his breakfast. 

"I just love to hear you sing, Melody," cried 
Peter rather breathlessly. "I don't know of any 
other song that makes me feel quite as yours does, 
so sort of perfectly contented and free of care and 

"Thank you," replied Melody. "I'm glad you 
like to hear me sing for there is nothing I like to do 
better. It is the one way in which I can express 
my feelings. I love all the Great World and I just 
have to tell it so. I do not mean to boast when I 
say that all the Thrush family have good voices." 

"But you have the best of all," cried Peter. 

Melody shook his brown head. "I wouldn't say 
that," said he modestly. "I think the song of my 
cousin, Hermit, is even more beautiful than mine. 
And then there is my other cousin, Veery. His 
song is wonderful, I think." 

But just then Peter's curiosity was greater than 
his interest in songs. "Have you built your nest 
yet?" he asked. 

Melody nodded. "It is in a little tree not far 
from here," said he, "and Mrs. Wood Thrush is 
sitting on five eggs this blessed minute. Isn't that 
perfectly lovely ?" 

It was Peter's turn to nod. "What is your nest 
built of ?" he inquired. 

Voices of the Dusk 

"Rootlets and tiny twigs and weed stalks and 
leaves and mud," replied Melody. 

"Mud !" exclaimed Peter. "Why, that's what 
Welcome Robin uses in his nest." 

"Well, Welcome Robin is my own cousin, so I 
don't know as there's anything so surprising in 
that," retorted Melody. 

" Oh," said Peter. " I had forgotten that he is a 
member of the Thrush family." 

"Well, he is, even if he is dressed quite differently 
from the rest of us," replied Melody. 

"You mentioned your cousin, Hermit. I don't 
believe I know him," said Peter. 

"Then it's high time you got acquainted with 
him," replied Melody promptly. "He is rather 
fond of being by himself and that is why he is called 
the Hermit Thrush. He is smaller than I and his 
coat is not such a bright brown. His tail is 
brighter than his coat. He has a waistcoat spotted 
very much like mine. Some folks consider him the 
most beautiful singer of the Thrush family. I'm 
glad you like my song, but you must hear Hermit 
sing. I really think there is no song so beautiful 
in all the Green Forest." 

"Does he build a nest like yours ?" asked Peter. 

"No," replied Melody. "He builds his nest on 
the ground, and he doesn't use any mud. Now if 
you'll excuse me, Peter, I must get my breakfast 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

and give Mrs.] Wood Thrush a chance to get 

1 So Peter continued on his way to the dear Old 
Briar-patch and there he spent the day. As eve- 
ning approached he decided to go back to hear 
Melody sing again. Just as he drew near the Green 
Forest he heard from the direction of the Laughing 
Brook a song that caused him to change his mind 
and sent him hurrying in that direction. It was a 
very different song from that of Melody the Wood 
Thrush, yet, if he had never heard it before, Peter 
would have known that such a song could come 
from no throat except that of a member of the 
Thrush family. As he drew near the Laughing 
Brook the beautiful notes seemed to ring through 
the Green Forest like a bell. As Melody's song 
had filled Peter with a feeling of peace, so this song 
stirred in him a feeling of the wonderful mystery 
of life. There was in it the very spirit of the Green 

It didn't take Peter long to find the singer. It 
was Veery, who has been named Wilson's Thrush, 
and by some folks is known as the Tawny Thrush. 

At the sound of the patter of Peter's feet the song 
stopped abruptly and he was greeted with a whistled 
"Wheeu! wheeu !" Then, seeing that it was no 
one of whom he need be afraid, Veery came out 
from under some ferns to greet Peter. He was 
[234 ] 

Voices of the Dusk 

smaller than Melody the Wood Thrush, being 
about one-fourth smaller than Welcome Robin. 
He wore a brown coat but it was not as bright as 
that of his cousin, Melody. His breast was some- 
what faintly spotted with brown, and below he 
was white. His sides were grayish-white and not 
spotted like the sides of Melody. 

"I heard you singing and I just had to come over 
to see you," cried Peter. 

" I hope you like my song," said Veery. "I love 
to sing just at this hour and I love to think that 
other people like to hear me." 

"They do," declared Peter most emphatically. 
"I can't imagine how anybody could fail to like 
to hear you. I came 'way over here just to sit a 
while and listen. Won't you sing some more for 
me, Veery ?" 

"I certainly will, Peter," replied Veery. "I 
wouldn't feel that I was going to bed right if I 
didn't sing until dark. There is no part of the 
day I love better than the evening, and the only 
way I can express my happiness and my love of 
the Green Forest and the joy of just being back 
here at home is by singing." 

Veery slipped out of sight, and almost at once his 

bell-like notes began to ring through the Green 

Forest. Peter sat right where he was, content to 

just listen and feel within himself the joy of being 

\ [ 235 ] 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

alive and happy in the beautiful spring season 
which Veery was expressing so wonderfully. The 
Black Shadows grew blacker. One by one the little 
stars came out and twinkled down through the 
tree tops. Finally from deep in the Green Forest 
sounded the hunting call of Hooty the Owl. 
Veery 's song stopped. "Good night, Peter," he 
called softly. 

"Good night, Veery," replied Peter and hopped 
back towards the Green Meadows for a feast of 
sweet clover. 



PETER RABBIT sat in a thicket of young trees 
on the edge of the Green Forest. It was warm and 
Peter was feeling lazy. He had nothing in particu- 
lar to do, and as he knew of no cooler place he had 
squatted there to doze a bit and dream a bit. So 
far as he knew, Peter was all alone. He hadn't 
seen anybody when he entered that little thicket, 
and though he had listened he hadn't heard a 
sound to indicate that he didn't have that thicket 
quite to himself. It was very quiet there, and 
though when he first entered he hadn't the least in- 
tention in the world of going to sleep, it wasn't 
long before he was dozing. 

Now Peter is a light sleeper, as all little people 
who never know when they may have to run for 
their lives must be. By and by he awoke with 
a start, and he was very wide awake indeed. Some- 
thing had wakened him, though just what it was he 
couldn't say. His long ears stood straight up as he 
listened with all his might for some little sound 
which might mean danger. His wobbly little nose 
wobbled very fast indeed as it tested the air for the 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

scent of a possible enemy. Very alert was Peter 
as he waited. 

For a few minutes he heard nothing and saw 
nothing. Then, near the outer edge of the thicket, 
he heard a great rustling of dry leaves. It must 
have been this that had wakened him. For just 
an instant Peter was startled, but only for an 
instant. His long ears told him at once that that 
noise was made by some one scratching among the 
leaves, and he knew that no one who did not wear 
feathers could scratch like that. 

"Now who can that be?" thought Peter, and 
stole forward very softly towards the place from 
which the sound came. Presently, as he peeped 
between the stems of the young trees, he saw the 
brown leaves which carpeted the ground fly this 
way and that, and in the midst of them was an 
exceedingly busy person, a little smaller than 
Welcome Robin, scratching away for dear life. 
Every now and then he picked up something. 

His head, throat, back and breast were black. 
Beneath he was white. His sides were reddish- 
brown. His tail was black and white, and the 
longer feathers of his wings were edged with white. 
It was Chewink the Towhee, sometimes called 
Ground Robin. 

Peter chuckled, but it was a noiseless chuckle. 
He kept perfectly still, for it was fun to watch some 
[ 238 ] 

Peter Saves a Friend and Learns Something 

one who hadn't the least idea that he was being 
watched. It was quite clear that Chewink was 
hungry and that under those dry leaves he was 
finding a good meal. His feet were made for 
scratching and he certainly knew how to use them. 
For some time Peter sat there watching. He had 
just about made up his mind that he would make 
his presence known and have a bit of morning gossip 
when, happening to look out beyond the edge of 
the little thicket, he saw something red. It was 
something alive, for it was moving very slowly and 
cautiously towards the place where Chewink was 
so busy and forgetful of everything but his break- 
fast. Peter knew that there was only one person 
with a coat of that color. It was Reddy Fox, and 
quite plainly Reddy was hoping to catch Chewink. 

For a second or two Peter was quite undecided 
what to do. He couldn't warn Chewink without 
making his own presence known to Reddy Fox. 
Of course he could sit perfectly still and let Chewink 
be caught, but that was such a dreadful thought 
that Peter didn't consider it for more than a second 
or two. He suddenly thumped the ground with 
his feet. It was his danger signal which all his 
friends know. Then he turned and scampered 
lipperty-lipperty-lip to a thick bramble-tangle not 
far behind him. 

At the sound of that thump Chewink instantly 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

flew up in a little tree. Then he saw Reddy Fox 
and began to scold. As for Reddy, he looked over 
towards the bramble-tangle and snarled. "I'll 
get you one of these days, Peter Rabbit," said he. 
"I'll get you one of these days and pay you up for 
cheating me out of a breakfast." Without so 
much as a glance at Chewink, Reddy turned and 
trotted off, trying his best to look dignified and as if 
he had never entertained such a thought as trying 
to catch Chewink. 

From his perch Chewink watched until he was 
sure that Reddy Fox had gone away for good. 
Then he called softly, " Towhee ! Towhee ! Chewink ! 
Chewink ! All is safe now, Peter Rabbit. Come 
out and talk with me and let me tell you how grate- 
ful to you I am for saving my life." 

Chewink flew down to the ground and Peter crept 
out of the bramble-tangle. "It wasn't anything," 
declared Peter. "I saw Reddy and I knew you 
didn't, so of course I gave the alarm. You would 
have done the same thing for me. Do you know, 
Chewink, I've wondered a great deal about you." 

"What have you wondered about me?" asked 

"I've wondered what family you belong to," 
replied Peter. 

Chewink chuckled. "I belong to a big family," 
said he. "I belong to the biggest family among 

Peter Saves a Friend and Learns Something 

the birds. It is the Finch and Sparrow family. 
There are a lot of us and a good many of us don't 
look much alike, but still we belong to the same 
family. I suppose you know that Rosebreast the 
Grosbeak and Glory the Cardinal are members of 
my family." 

"I didn't know it," replied Peter, "but if you 
say it is so I suppose it must be so. It is easier 
to believe than it is to believe that you are related 
to the Sparrows." 

"Nevertheless I am," retorted Chewink. 

"What were you scratching for when I first saw 
you ?" asked Peter. 

"Oh, worms and bugs that hide under the 
leaves," replied Chewink carelessly. "You have 
no idea how many of them hide under dead leaves." 

"Do you eat anything else ?" asked Peter. 

"Berries and wild fruits in season," replied Che- 
wink. "I'm very fond of them. They make a 
variety in the bill of fare." 

"I've noticed that I seldom see you up in the 
tree tops," remarked Peter. 

"I like the ground better," replied Chewink. 
"I spend more of my time on the ground than 
anywhere else." 

"I suppose that means that you nest on the 
ground," ventured Peter. 

Chewink nodded. "Of course," said he. "Asa 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

matter of fact, I've got a nest in this very thicket. 
Mrs. Towhee is on it right now, and I suspect 
she's worrying and anxious to know what happened 
over here when you warned me about Reddy Fox. 
I think I must go over and set her mind at 

Peter was just about to ask if he might go along 
and see that nest when a new voice broke in. 

"What are you fellows talking about?" it de- 
manded, and there flitted just in front of Peter a 
little bird the size of a Sparrow but lovelier than 
any Sparrow of Peter's acquaintance. At first 
glance he seemed to be all blue, and such a lovely 
bright blue. But as he paused for an instant Peter 
saw that his wings and tail were mostly black and 
that the lovely blue was brightest on his head and 
back. It was Indigo the Bunting. 

"We were talking about our family," replied 
Chewink. "I was telling Peter that we belong to 
the largest family among the birds." 

"But you didn't say anything about Indigo," 
interrupted Peter. "Do you mean to say that he 
belongs to the same family ?" 

"I surely do," replied Indigo. "I'm rather 
closely related to the Sparrow branch. Don't 
I look like a Sparrow ?" 

Peter looked at Indigo closely. "In size and 
shape you do," he confessed, "but just the same I 

Peter Saves a Friend and Learns Something }. 

should never in the world have thought of con- 
necting you with the Sparrows." 

"How about me?" asked another voice, and a 
little brown bird flew up beside Indigo, twitching 
her tail nervously. She looked very Sparrow-like 
indeed, so much so, that if Peter had not seen her 
with her handsome mate, for she was Mrs. Indigo, 
he certainly would have taken her for a Sparrow. 
Only on her wings and tail was there any of the 
blue which made Indigo's coat so beautiful, and 
this was only a faint tinge. 

"I'll have to confess that so far as you are 
concerned it isn't hard to think of you as related 
to the Sparrows," declared Peter. "Don't you 
sometimes wish you were as handsomely dressed 
as Indigo ?" 

Mrs. Indigo shook her head in a most decided 
way. "Never!" she declared. "I have worries 
enough raising a family as it is, but if I had a coat 
like his I wouldn't have a moment of peace. You 
have no idea how I worry about him sometimes. 
You ought to be thankful, Peter Rabbit, that you 
haven't a coat like his. It attracts altogether 
too much attention." 

Peter tried to picture himself in a bright blue 

coat and laughed right out at the mere thought, and 

the others joined with him. Then Indigo flew up 

to the top of a tall tree not far away and began to 

[ 243 ] 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

sing. It was a lively song and Peter enjc^ed it 
thoroughly. Mrs. Indigo took this opportunity 
to slip away unobserved, and when Peter looked 
around for Chewink, he too had disappeared. He 
had gone to tell Mrs. Chewink that he was quite 
safe and that she had nothing to worry about. 




JENNY and Mr. Wren were busy. If there were 
any busier little folks anywhere Peter Rabbit 
couldn't imagine who they could be. You see, 
everyone of those seven eggs in the Wren nest 
had hatched, and seven mouths are a lot to feed, 
especially when every morsel of food must be 
hunted for and carried from a distance. There was 
little time for gossip now. Just as soon as it was 
light enough to see Jenny and Mr. Wren began 
feeding those always hungry babies, and they kept 
at it with hardly time for an occasional mouthful 
themselves, until the Black Shadows came creeping 
out from the Purple Hills. Wren babies, like all 
other bird babies, grow very fast, and that means 
that each one of them must have a great deal of 
food every day. Each one of them often ate its 
own weight in food in a day and all their food had to 
be hunted for and when found carried back and 
put into the gaping little mouths. Hardly would 
Jenny Wren disappear in the little round doorway 
of her home with a caterpillar in her bill than she 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

would hop out again, and Mr. Wren would take her 
place with a spider or a fly and then hurry away for 
something more. 

Peter tried to keep count of the number of times 
they came and went but soon gave it up as a bad 
job. He began to wonder where all the worms and 
bugs and spiders came from, and gradually he came 
to have a great deal of respect for eyes sharp enough 
to find them so quickly. Needless to say Jenny 
was shorter-tempered than ever. She had no time 
to gossip and said so most emphatically. So at 
last Peter gave up the idea of trying to find out 
from her certain things he wanted to know, and 
hopped off to look for some one who was less busy. 
He had gone but a short distance when his atten- 
tion was caught by a song so sweet and so full of 
little trills that he first stopped to listen, then 
went to look for the singer. 

It didn't take long to find him, for he was sitting 
on the very tiptop of a fir-tree in Farmer Brown's 
yard. Peter didn't dare go over there, for 
already it was broad daylight, and he had about 
made up his mind that he would have to content 
himself with just listening to that sweet singer 
when the latter flew over in the Old Orchard and 
alighted just over Peter's head. " Hello, Peter!" 
he cried. 

"Hello, Linnet!" cried Peter. "I was wonder- 

A Royal Dresser and a Late Nester 

ing who it could be who was singing like that. 
I ought to have known, but you see it's so long 
since I've heard you sing that I couldn't just 
remember your song. I'm so glad you came over 
here for I'm just dying to talk to somebody." 

Linnet the Purple Finch, for this is who it was, 
laughed right out. "I see you're still the same old 
Peter," said he. "I suppose you're just as full of 
curiosity as ever and just as full of questions. 
Well, here I am, so what shall we talk about ?" 

"You," replied Peter bluntly. "Lately I've 
found out so many surprising things about my 
feathered friends that I want to know more. I'm 
trying to get it straight in my head who is related 
to who, and I've found out some things which have 
begun to make me feel that I know very little about 
my feathered neighbors. It's getting so that I 
don't dare to even guess who a person's relatives 
are. If you please, Linnet, what family do you 
belong to ?" 

Linnet flew down a little nearer to Peter. " Look 
me over, Peter," said he with twinkling eyes. 
"Look me over and see if you can't tell for your- 

Peter stared solemnly at Linnet. He saw a bird 

of Sparrow size most of whose body was a rose-red, 

brightest on the head, darkest on the back, and 

palest on the breast. Underneath he was whitish. 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

His wings and tail were brownish, the outer parts 
of the feathers edged with rose-red. His bill 
was short and stout. 

Before Peter could reply, Mrs. Linnet appeared. 
There wasn't so much as a touch of that beautiful 
rose-red about her. Her grayish-brown back was 
streaked with black, and her white breast and sides 
were spotted and streaked with brown. If Peter 
hadn't seen her with Linnet he certainly would 
have taken her for a Sparrow. She looked so much 
like one that he ventured to say, "I guess you be- 
long to the Sparrow family." 

"That's pretty close, Peter. That's pretty 
close," declared Linnet. "We belong to the Finch 
branch of the family, which makes the Sparrows 
own cousins to us. Folks may get Mrs. Linnet 
mixed with some of our Sparrow cousins, but they 
never can mistake me. There isn't anybody else 
my size with a rose-red coat like mine. If you 
can't remember my song, which you ought to, 
because there is no other song quite like it, you can 
always tell me by the color of my coat. Hello ! 
Here comes Cousin Chicoree. Did you ever see a 
happier fellow than he is ? I'll venture to say that 
he has been having such a good time that he hasn't 
even yet thought of building a nest, and here half 
the people of the Old Orchard have grown families. 
I've a nest and eggs myself, but that madcap 

CHICOREE THE GOLDFINCH. There is no mistaking this little yellow and 
black bird. 

member of his family in the East. 

A Royal Dresser and a Late Nester 

is just roaming about having a good time. Isn't 
that so, Chicoree?" 

"Isn't what so?" demanded Chicoree the Gold- 
finch, perching very near to where Linnet was 

"Isn't it true that you haven't even begun think- 
ing about a nest?" demanded Linnet. Chicoree 
flew down in the grass almost under Peter's nose 
and began to pull apart a dandelion which had 
gone to seed. He snipped the seeds from the soft 
down to which they were attached and didn't say a 
word till he was quite through. Then he flew up 
in the tree near Linnet, and while he dressed his 
feathers, answered Linnet's question. 

"It's quite true, but what of it?" said he. 
"There's time enough to think about nest-building 
and household cares later. Mrs. Goldfinch and 
I will begin to think about them about the first of 
July. Meanwhile we are making the most of this 
beautiful season to roam about and have a good 
time. For one thing we like thistledown to line 
our nest, and there isn't any thistledown yet. 
Then, there is no sense in raising a family until 
there is plenty of the right kind of food, and you 
know we Goldfinches live mostly on seeds. I'll 
venture to say that we are the greatest seed-eaters 
anywhere around. Of course when the babies are 
small they have to have soft food, but one can find 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

plenty of worms and bugs any time during the 
summer. Just as soon as the children are big 
enough to hunt their own food they need seeds, so 
there is no sense in trying to raise a family until 
there are plenty of seeds for them when needed. 
Meanwhile we are having a good time. How do 
you like my summer suit, Peter ?" 

" It's beautiful," cried Peter. "I wouldn't know 
you for the same bird I see so often in the late fall 
and sometimes in the winter. I don't know of 
anybody who makes a more complete change. 
That black cap certainly is very smart and be- 

Chicoree cocked his head on one side, the better 
to show off that black cap. The rest of his head 
and his whole body were bright yellow. His wings 
were black with two white bars on each. His tail 
also was black, with some white on it. In size he 
was a little smaller than Linnet and altogether one 
of the smartest appearing of all the little people who 
wear feathers. It was a joy just to look at him. 
If Peter had known anything about Canaries, which 
of course he didn't, because Canaries are always 
kept in cages, he would have understood why 
Chicoree the Goldfinch is often called the Wild 

Mrs. Goldfinch now joined her handsome mate 
and it was plain to see that she admired him quite 

A Royal Dresser and a Late Nester 

as much as did Peter. Her wings and tail were 
much like his but were more brownish than black. 
She wore no cap at all and her back and head were 
a grayish-brown with an olive tinge. Under- 
neath she was lighter, with a tinge of yellow. 
All together she was a very modestly dressed small 
person. As Peter recalled Chicoree's winter suit, 
it was very much like that now worn by Mrs. Gold- 
finch, save that his wings and tail were as they now 

All the time Chicoree kept up a continual happy 
twittering, breaking out every few moments into 
song. It was clear that he was fairly bubbling 
over with joy. 

"I suppose," said Peter, "it sounds foolish of 
me to ask if you are a member of the same family 
as Linnet." 

"Very foolish, Peter. Very foolish," laughed 
Chicoree. "Isn't my name Goldfinch, and isn't 
his name Purple Finch? We belong to the same 
family and a mighty fine family it is. Now I 
must go over to the Old Pasture to see how the 
thistles are coming on." 

Away he flew calling, "Chic-o-ree, per-chic-o-ree, 
chic-o-ree !" Mrs. Goldfinch followed. As they 
flew, they rose and fell in the air in very much the 
same way that Yellow Wing the Flicker does. 

"I'd know them just by that, even if Chicoree 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

didn't keep calling his own name," thought Peter. 
"It's funny how they often stay around all winter 
yet are among the last of all the birds to set up 
housekeeping. As I once said to Jenny Wren, 
birds certainly are funny creatures." 

"Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut! It's no such thing, 
Peter Rabbit. It's no such thing," scolded Jenny 
Wren as she flew past Peter on her way to hunt for 
another worm for her hungry babies. 




A LONG lane leads from Farmer Brown's barn- 
yard down to his cornfield on the Green Meadows. 
It happened that very early one morning Peter 
Rabbit took it into his funny little head to run down 
that long lane to see what he might see. Now at a 
certain place beside that long lane was a gravelly 
bank into which Farmer Brown had dug for gravel 
to put on the roadway up near his house. As 
Peter was scampering past this place where Farmer 
Brown had dug he caught sight of some one very 
busy in that gravel pit. Peter stopped short, 
then sat up to stare. 

It was Mourner the Dove whom Peter saw, an 
old friend of whom Peter is very fond. His body 
was a little bigger than that of Welcome Robin, 
but his long slender neck, and longer tail and wings 
made him appear considerably larger. In shape 
he reminded Peter at once of the Pigeons up at 
Farmer Brown's. His back was grayish-brown, 
varying to bluish-gray. The crown and upper 
parts of his head were bluish -gray. His breast 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

was reddish-buff, shading down into a soft buff. 
His bill was black and his feet red. The two 
middle feathers of his tail were longest and of the 
color of his back. The other feathers were slaty- 
gray with little black bands and tipped with white. 
On his wings were a few scattered black spots. 
Just under each ear was a black spot. But it was 
the sides of his slender neck which were the most 
beautiful part of Mourner. When untouched by 
the Jolly Little Sunbeams the neck feathers ap- 
peared to be in color very like his breast, but the 
moment they were touched by the Jolly Little 
Sunbeams they seemed to be of many colors 
constantly changing, which, as you know, is called 
iridescence. Altogether Mourner was lovely in a 
quiet way. 

But it was not his appearance which made Pete 
stare ; it was what he was doing. He was walking 
about and every now and then picking up some- 
thing quite as if he were getting his breakfast in 
that gravel pit, and Peter couldn't imagine any- 
thing good to eat down there. He knew that there 
were not even worms there. Besides, Mourner is 
not fond of worms ; he lives almost altogether on 
seeds and grains of many kinds. So Peter was 
puzzled. But as you know he isn't the kind to 
puzzle long over anything when he can use his 


Mourner the Dove and Cuckoo 

"Hello, Mourner !" he cried. "What under the 
sun are you doing in there ? Are you getting your 

"Hardly, Peter; hardly," cooed Mourner in the 
softest of voices. " I've had my breakfast and now 
I'm picking up a little gravel for my digestion." 
He picked up a tiny pebble and swallowed it. 

"Well, of all things ! " cried Peter. "You must 
be crazy. The idea of thinking that gravel is going 
to help your digestion. I should say the chances 
are that it will work just the other way." 

Mourner laughed. It was the softest of little 
cooing laughs, very pleasant to hear. "I see that 
as usual you are judging others by yourself," said 
he. "You ought to know by this time that you 
can do nothing more foolish. I haven't the least 
doubt that a breakfast of gravel would give you 
the worst kind of a stomach-ache. But you are 
you and I am I, and there is all the difference in the 
world. You know I eat grain and hard seeds. 
Not having any teeth I have to swallow them 
whole. One part of my stomach is called a gizzard 
and its duty is to grind and crush my food so that 
it may be digested. Tiny pebbles and gravel 
help grind the food and so aid digestion. I think 
I've got enough now for this morning, and it is time 
for a dust bath. There is a dusty spot over in the 
lane where I take a dust bath every day." 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

"If you don't mind," said Peter, "I'll go with 

Mourner said he didn't mind, so Peter followed 
him over to the dusty place in the long lane. 
There Mourner was joined by Mrs. Dove, who was 
dressed very much like him save that she did not 
have so beautiful a neck. While they thoroughly 
dusted themselves they chatted with Peter. 

"I see you on the ground so much that I've often 
wondered if you build your nest on the ground," 
said Peter. 

"No," replied Mourner. "Mrs. Dove builds in 
a tree, but usually not very far above the ground. 
Now if you'll excuse us we must get back home. 
Mrs. Dove has two eggs to sit on and while she is 
sitting I like to be close at hand to keep her 
company and make love to her." 

The Doves shook the loose dust from their 
feathers and flew away. Peter watched to see 
where they went, but lost sight of them behind 
some trees, so decided to run up to the Old Orchard. 
There he found Jenny and Mr. Wren as busy as ever 
feeding that growing family of theirs. Jenny 
wouldn't stop an instant to gossip. Peter was so 
brimful of what he had found out about Mr. and 
Mrs. Dove that he just had to tell some one. He 
heard Kitty the Catbird meowing among the 
bushes along the old stone wall, so hurried over to 

MOURNER THE DOVE. You may surprise him taking a dust bath m the 

Mourner the Dove and Cuckoo 

look for him. As soon as he found him Peter began 
to tell what he had learned about Mourner the 

"That's no news, Peter," interrupted Kitty. 
"I know all about Mourner and his wife. They 
are very nice people, though I must say Mrs. Dove 
is one of the poorest housekeepers I know of. I 
take it you never have seen her nest." 

Peter shook his head. "No," said he, "I 
haven't. What is it like ?" 

Kitty the Catbird laughed. "It's about the 
poorest apology for a nest I know of," said he. 
"It is made of little sticks and mighty few of them. 
How they hold together is more than I can under- 
stand. I guess it is a good thing that Mrs. Dove 
doesn't lay more than two eggs, and it's a wonder 
to me that those two stay in the nest. Listen ! 
There's Mourner's voice now. For one who is 
so happy he certainly does have the mournfullest 
sounding voice. To hear him you'd think he was 
sorrowful instead of happy. It always makes me 
feel sad to hear him." 

"That's true," replied Peter, "but I like to hear 
him just the same. Hello ! Who's that ?" 

From one of the trees in the Old Orchard sounded 
along, clear, " Kow-kow-kow-kow-kow-kow !" It 
was quite unlike any voice Peter had heard that 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

"That's Cuckoo," said Kitty. "Do you mean 
to say you don't know Cuckoo ?" 

"Of course I know him," retorted Peter. "I 
had forgotten the sound of his voice, that's all." 
Tell me, Kitty, is it true that Mrs. Cuckoo is no 
better than Sally Sly the Cowbird and goes about 
laying her eggs in the nests of other birds? I've 
heard that said of her." 

"There isn't a word of truth in it," declared 
Kitty emphatically. "She builds a nest, such as 
it is, which isn't much, and she looks after her own 
children. The Cuckoos have been given a bad 
name because of some good-for-nothing cousins 
of theirs who live across the ocean where Bully the 
English Sparrow belongs, and who, if all reports 
are true, really are no better than Sally Sly the 
Cowbird. It's funny how a bad name sticks. The 
Cuckoos have been accused of stealing the eggs of 
us other birds, but I've never known them to do it 
and I've lived neighbor to them for a long time. 
I guess they get their bad name because of their 
habit of slipping about silently and keeping out of 
sight as much as possible, as if they were guilty 
of doing something wrong and trying to keep from 
being seen. As a matter of fact, they are mighty 
useful birds. Farmer Brown ought to be tickled 
to death that Mr. and Mrs. Cuckoo have come 
back to the Old Orchard this year." 

Mourner the Dove and Cuckoo 

"Why? "demanded Peter. 

"Do you see that cobwebby nest with all those 
hairy caterpillars on it and around it up in that 
tree?" asked Kitty. 

Peter replied that he did and that he had seen 
a great many nests just like it, and had noticed how 
the caterpillars ate all the leaves near them. 

"I'll venture to say that you won't see very 
many leaves eaten around that nest," replied Kitty. 
"Those are called tent-caterpillars, and they do 
an awful lot of damage. I can't bear them myself 
because they are so hairy, and very few birds will 
touch them. But Cuckoo likes them. There he 
comes now ; just watch him." 

A long, slim Dove-like looking bird alighted 
close to the caterpillar's nest. Above he was 
brownish-gray with just a little greenish tinge. 
Beneath he was white. His wings were reddish- 
brown. His tail was a little longer than that of 
Mourner the Dove. The outer feathers were 
black tipped with white, while the middle feathers 
were the color of his back. The upper half of his 
bill was black, but the under half was yellow, and 
from this he is called the Yellow-billed Cuckoo. 
He has a cousin very much like himself in ap- 
pearance, save that his bill is all black and he is 
called the Black-billed Cuckoo. 

Cuckoo made no sound but began to pick off the 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

hairy caterpillars and swallow them. When he 
had eaten all those in sight he made holes in the 
silken web of the nest and picked out the cater- 
pillars that were inside. Finally, having eaten his 
fill, he flew off as silently as he had come and 
disappeared among the bushes farther along the 
old stone wall. A moment later they heard his 
voice, "Kow-kow-kow-kow-kow-kow-kow-kow !" 

"I suppose some folks would think that it is 
going to rain," remarked Kitty the Catbird. 
"They have the silly notion that Cuckoo only 
calls just before rain, and so they call him the 
Rain Crow. But that isn't so at all. Well, Peter, 
I guess I've gossiped enough for one morning. 
I must go see how Mrs. Catbird is getting along." 

Kitty disappeared and Peter, having no one to 
talk to, decided that the best thing he could do 
would be to go home to the dear Old Briar-patch. 




NOT far from the Old Orchard grew a thorn-tree 
which Peter Rabbit often passed. He never had 
paid particular attention to it. One morning 
he stopped to rest under it. Happening to look 
up, he saw a most astonishing thing. Fastened on 
the sharp thorns of one of the branches were three 
big grasshoppers, a big moth, two big caterpillars, 
a lizard, a small mouse and a young English 
Sparrow. Do you wonder that Peter thought he 
must be dreaming? He couldn't imagine how 
those creatures could have become fastened on 
those long sharp thorns. Somehow it gave him an 
uncomfortable feeling and he hurried on to the Old 
Orchard, bubbling over with desire to tell some one 
of the strange and dreadful thing he had seen in the 

As he enterd the Old Orchard in the far corner 
he saw Johnny Chuck sitting on his doorstep and 
hurried over to tell him the strange news. Johnny 
listened until Peter was through, then told him 
quite frankly that never had he heard of such a 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

thing, and that he thought Peter must have been 
dreaming and didn't know it. 

"You're wrong, Johnny Chuck. Peter hasn't 
been dreaming at all," said Skimmer the Swallow, 
who, you remember, lived in a hole in a tree just 
above the entrance to Johnny Chuck's house. He 
had been sitting where he could hear all that Peter 
had said. 

"Well, if you know so much about it, please 
explain," said Johnny Chuck rather crossly. 

"It's simple enough," replied Skimmer. "Peter 
just happened to find the storehouse of Butcher 
the Loggerhead Shrike. It isn't a very pleasant 
sight, I must admit, but one must give Butcher 
credit for being smart enough to lay up a store of 
food when it is plentiful." 

"And who is Butcher the Shrike?" demanded 
Peter. "He's a new one to me." 

"He's new to this location," replied Skimmer, 
" and you probably haven't noticed him. I've seen 
him in the South often. There he is now, on the 
tiptop of that tree over yonder." 

Peter and Johnny looked eagerly. They saw a 
bird who at first glance appeared not unlike Mocker 
the Mockingbird. He was dressed wholly in black, 
gray and white. When he turned his head they 
noticed a black stripe across the side of his face 
and that the tip of his bill was hooked. These 

A Butcher and a Hummer 

were enough to make them forget that otherwise 
he was like Mocker. While they were watching 
him he flew down into the grass and picked up a 
grasshopper. Then he flew with a steady, even 
flight, only a little above the ground, for some 
distance, suddenly shooting up and returning to 
the perch where they had first seen him. There 
he ate the grasshopper and resumed his watch 
for something else to catch. 

"He certainly has wonderful eyes," said Skim- 
mer admiringly. "He must have seen that grass- 
hopper way over there in the grass before he started 
after it, for he flew straight there. He doesn't 
waste time and energy hunting aimlessly. He sits 
on a high perch and watches until he sees something 
he wants. Many times I've seen him sitting on 
top of a telegraph pole. I understand that Bully 
the English Sparrow has become terribly nervous 
since the arrival of Butcher. He is particularly 
fond of English Sparrows. I presume it was one 
of Bully's children you saw in the thorn-tree, 
Peter. Eor my part I hope he'll frighten Bully in- 
to leaving the Old Orchard. It would be a good 
thing for the rest of us." 

"But I don't understand yet why he fastens 
his victims on those long thorns," said Peter. 

"For two reasons," replied Skimmer. " When he 
catches more grasshoppers and other insects than 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

he can eat, he sticks them on those thorns so that 
later he may be sure of a good meal if it happens 
there are no more to be caught when he is hungry. 
Mice, Sparrows, and things too big for him to 
swallow he sticks on the thorns so that he can pull 
them to pieces easier. You see his feet and claws 
are not big and stout enough to hold his victims 
while he tears them to pieces with his hooked bill. 
Sometimes, instead of sticking them on thorns, 
he sticks them on the barbed wire of a fence and 
sometimes he wedges them into the fork of two 

"Does he kill many birds ?" asked Peter. 

"Not many," replied Skimmer, "and most of 
those he does kill are English Sparrows. The rest 
of us have learned to keep out of his way. He 
feeds mostly on insects, worms and caterpillars, 
but he is very fond of mice and he catches a good 
many. He is a good deal like Killy the Sparrow 
Hawk in this respect. He has a cousin, the Great 
Northern Shrike, who sometimes conies down in the 
winter, and is very much like him. Hello ! Now 
what's happened ?" 

A great commotion had broken out not far away 
in the Old Orchard. Instantly Skimmer flew over 
to see what it was all about and Peter followed. 
He got there just in time to see Chatterer the 
Red Squirrel dodging around the trunk of a tree, 

BUTCHER THE NORTHERN SHRIKE. His cousin, the Loggerhead 
Shrike looks much like him. 

SNIPPER THE CROSSBILL. No other bird has the tips of his bill crossed. 

A Butcher and a Hummer 

first on one side, then on the other, to avoid the 
sharp bills of the angry feathered folk who had 
discovered him trying to rob a nest of its young. 

Peter chuckled. " Chatterer is getting just what 
is due him, I guess," he muttered. "It reminds 
me of the time I got into a Yellow Jacket's nest. 
My, but those birds are mad !" 

Chatterer continued to dodge from side to side 
of the tree while the birds darted down at him, all 
screaming at the top of their voices. Finally 
Chatterer saw his chance to run for the old stone 
wall. Only one bird was quick enough to catch up 
with him and that one was such a tiny fellow that 
he seemed hardly bigger than a big insect. It was 
Hummer the Hummingbird. He followed Chat- 
terer clear to the old stone wall. A moment later 
Peter heard a humming noise just over his head 
and looked up to see Hummer himself alight on a 
twig, where he squeaked excitedly for a few 
minutes, for his voice is nothing but a little squeak. 

Often Peter had seen Hummer darting about 
from flower to flower and holding himself still in 
mid-air in front of each as he thrust his long bill 
into the heart of the blossom to get the tiny insects 
there and the sweet juices he is so fond of. But 
this was the first time Peter had ever seen him sit- 
ting still. He was such a mite of a thing that it was 
hard to realize that he was a bird. His back was 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

a bright, shining green. His wings and tail were 
brownish with a purplish tinge. Underneath he 
was whitish. But it was his throat on which 
Peter fixed his eyes. It was a wonderful ruby-red 
that glistened and shone in the sun like a jewel. 

Hummer lifted one wing and with his long needle- 
like bill smoothed the feathers under it. Then he 
darted out into the air, his wings moving so fast 
that Peter couldn't see them at all. But if he 
couldn't see them he could hear them. You see 
they moved so fast that they made a sound very 
like the humming of Bumble the Bee. It is because 
of this that he is called the Hummingbird. A few 
minutes later he was back again and now he was 
joined by Mrs. Hummer. She was dressed very 
much like Hummer but did not have the beautiful 
ruby throat. She stopped only a minute or two, 
then darted over to what looked for all the world 
like a tiny cup of moss. It was their nest. 

Just then Jenny Wren came along, and being 
quite worn out with the work of feeding her seven 
babies, she was content to rest for a few moments 
and gossip. Peter told her what he had discovered. 

" I know all about that," retorted Jenny. " You 
don't suppose I hunt these trees over for food with- 
out knowing where my neighbors are living, do 
you? I'd have you to understand, Peter, that 
that is the daintiest nest in the Old Orchard. It is 

A Butcher and a Hummer 

made wholly of plant down and covered on the out- 
side with bits of that gray moss-like stuff that grows 
on the bark of the trees and is called lichens. That 
is what makes that nest look like nothing more 
than a knot on the branch. Chatterer made a big 
mistake when he visited this tree. Hummer may 
be a tiny fellow but he isn't afraid of anybody 
under the sun. That bill of his is so sharp and he is 
so quick that few folks ever bother him more than 
once. Why, there isn't a single member of the 
Hawk family that Hummer won't attack. There 
isn't a cowardly feather on him." 

"Does he go very far south for the winter?" 
asked Peter. "He is such a tiny fellow I don't 
see how he can stand a very long journey." 

"Huh!" exclaimed Jenny Wren. "Distance 
doesn't bother Hummer any. You needn't worry 
about those wings of his. He goes clear down to 
South America. He has ever so many relatives 
down there. You ought to see his babies when 
they first hatch out. They are no bigger than bees. 
But they certainly do grow fast. Why, they are 
flying three weeks from the time they hatch. I'm 
glad I don't have to pump food down the throats of 
my youngsters the way Mrs. Hummingbird has 
to down hers." 

Peter looked perplexed. " What do you mean by 
pumping food down their throats ?" he demanded. 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

"Just what I say," retorted Jenny Wren. "Mrs. 
Hummer sticks her bill right down their throats and 
then pumps up the food she has already swallowed. 
I guess it is a good thing that the babies have short 

"Do they?" asked Peter, opening his eyes very 
wide with surprise. 

"Yes," replied Jenny. "When they hatch out 
they have short bills, but it doesn't take them a 
great while to grow long." 

"How many babies does Mrs. Hummer usually 
have?" asked Peter. 

"Just two," replied Jenny. "Just two. That's 
all that nest will hold. But goodness gracious, 
Peter, I can't stop gossiping here any longer. You 
have no idea what a care seven babies are." 

With a jerk of her tail off flew Jenny Wren, and 
Peter hurried back to tell Johnny Chuck all he had 
found out about Hummer the Hummingbird. 




BUTCHER THE SHRIKE was not the only newcomer 
in the Old Orchard. There was another stranger 
who, Peter Rabbit soon discovered, was looked 
on with some suspicion by all the other birds of the 
Old Orchard. The first time Peter saw him, he was 
walking about on the ground some distance off. 
He didn't hop but walked, and at that distance 
he looked all black. The way he carried himself 
and his movements as he walked made Peter think 
of Creaker the Grackle. In fact, Peter mistook 
him for Creaker. That was because he didn't 
really look at him. If he had he would have seen at 
once that the stranger was smaller than Creaker. 

Presently the stranger flew up in a tree and Peter 
saw that his tail was little more than half as long as 
that of Creaker. At once it came over Peter that 
this was a stranger to him, and of course his 
curiosity was aroused. He didn't have any doubt 
whatever that this was a member of the Blackbird 
family, but which one it could be he hadn't the 
least idea. "Jenny Wren will know," thought 
Peter and scampered off to hunt her up. 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

"Who is that new member of the Blackbird 
family who has come to live in the Old Orchard ?" 
Peter asked as soon as he found Jenny Wren. 

"There isn't any new member of the Blackbird 
family living in the Old Orchard," retorted Jenny 
Wren tartly. 

"There is too," contradicted Peter. "I saw him 
with my own eyes. I can see him now. He's 
sitting in that tree over yonder this very minute. 
He's all black, so of course he must be a member of 
the Blackbird family." 

"Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut!" scolded Jenny Wren. 
"Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut ! That fellow isn't a mem- 
ber of the Blackbird family at all, and what's 
more, he isn't black. Go over there and take a 
good look at him ; then come back and tell me if 
you still think he is black." 

Jenny turned her back on Peter and went to 
hunting worms. There being nothing else to do, 
Peter hopped over where he could get a good look 
at the stranger. The sun was shining full on him, 
and he wasn't black at all. Jenny Wren was right. 
For the most part he was very dark green. At 
least, that is what Peter thought at first glance. 
Then, as the stranger moved, he seemed to be a 
rich purple in places. In short he changed color 
as he turned. His feathers were like those of 
Creaker the Grackle iridescent. All over he 

A Stranger and a Dandy 

was speckled with tiny light spots. Underneath 
he was dark brownish-gray. His wings and tail 
were of the same color, with little touches of buff. 
His rather large bill was yellow. 

Peter hurried back to Jenny Wren and it must be 
confessed he looked sheepish. "You were right, 
Jenny Wren ; he isn't black at all," confessed Peter. 

"Of course I was right. I usually am," retorted 
Jenny. "He isn't black, he isn't even related to 
the Blackbird family, and he hasn't any busi- 
ness in the Old Orchard. In fact, if you ask me, he 
hasn't any business in this country anyway. He's 
a foreigner. That's what he is a foreigner." 

"But you haven't told me who he is," protested 

" He is Speckles the Starling, and he isn't really 
an American at all," replied Jenny. "He comes 
from across the ocean the same as Bully the English 
Sparrow. Thank goodness he hasn't such a quar- 
relsome disposition as Bully. Just the same, the 
rest of us would be better satisfied if he were not 
here. He has taken possession of one of the old 
homes of Yellow Wing the Flicker, and that means 
one less house for birds who really belong here. If 
his family increases at the rate Bully's family does, 
I'm afraid some of us will soon be crowded out of 
the Old Orchard. Did you notice that yellow bill 
of his?" 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

Peter nodded. "I certainly did," said he. "I 
couldn't very well help noticing it." 
; "Well, there's a funny thing about that bill," 
replied Jenny. " In winter it turns almost black. 
Most of us wear a different colored suit in winter, 
but our bills remain the same." 

"Well, he seems to be pretty well fixed here, and 
I don't see but what the thing for the rest of you 
birds to do is to make the best of the matter," 
said Peter. "What I want to know is whether or 
not he is of any use." 

"I guess he must do some good," admitted Jenny 
Wren rather grudgingly. "I've seen him picking 
up worms and grubs, but he likes grain, and I have 
a suspicion that if his family becomes very numer- 
ous, and I suspect it will, they will eat more of 
Farmer Brown's grain than they will pay for by the 
worms and bugs they destroy. Hello! There's 
Dandy the Waxwing and his friends." 

A flock of modestly dressed yet rather distin- 
guished looking feathered folks had alighted in a 
cherry-tree and promptly began to help themselves 
to Farmer Brown's cherries. They were about the 
size of Winsome Bluebird, but did not look in the 
least like him, for they were dressed almost wholly 
in beautiful, rich, soft grayish-brown. Across the 
end of each tail was a yellow band. On each, the 
forehead, chin and a line through each eye was 

You can tell him from his cousin the Bohemian Waxwing by his smaller size. 

A Stranger and a Dandy 

velvety-black. Each wore a very stylish pointed 
cap, and on the wings of most of them were little 
spots of red which looked like sealing-wax, and 
from which they get the name of Waxwings. 
They were slim and trim and quite dandified, and 
in a quiet way were really beautiful. 

As Peter watched them he began to wonder if 
Farmer Brown would have any cherries left. Peter 
himself can do pretty well in the matter of stuffing 
his stomach, but even he marvelled at the way those 
birds put the cherries out of sight. It was quite 
clear to him why they are often called Cherrybirds. 

"If they stay long, Farmer Brown won't have 
any cherries left," remarked Peter. 

"Don't worry," replied Jenny Wren. "They 
won't stay long. I don't know anybody equal to 
them for roaming about. Here are most of us with 
families on our hands and Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird 
with a second family and Mr. and Mrs. Robin with 
a second set of eggs, while those gadabouts up there 
haven't even begun to think about housekeeping 
yet. They certainly do like those cherries, but I 
guess Farmer Brown can stand the loss of what they 
eat. He may have fewer cherries, but he'll have 
more apples because of them." 

"How's that ?" demanded Peter. 

"Oh," replied Jenny Wren, "they were over here 
a while ago when those little green cankerworms 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

threatened to eat up the whole orchard, and they 
stuffed themselves on those worms just the same as 
they are stuffing themselves on cherries now. They 
are very fond of small fruits but most of those they 
eat are the wild kind which are of no use at all to 
Farmer Brown or anybody else. Now just look at 
that performance, will you ?" 

There were five of the Waxwings and they were 
now seated side by side on a branch of the cherry- 
tree. One of them had a plump cherry which he 
passed to the next one. This one passed it on to 
the next, and so it went to the end of the row and 
halfway back before it was finally eaten. Peter 
laughed right out. "Never in my life have I seen 
such politeness," said he. 

"Huh!" exclaimed Jenny Wren. "I don't 
believe it was politeness at all. I guess if you got at 
the truth of the matter you would find that each 
one was stuffed so full that he thought he didn't 
have room for that cherry and so passed it along." 

"Well, I think that was politeness just the same," 
retorted Peter. "The first one might have dropped 
the cherry if he couldn't eat it instead of passing 
it along." Just then the Waxwings flew away. 

It was the very middle of the summer before 

Peter Rabbit again saw Dandy the Waxwing. 

Quite by chance he discovered Dandy sitting on 

the tiptop of an evergreen tree, as if on guard. He 


A Stranger and a Dandy 

was on guard, for in that tree was his nest, though 
Peter didn't know it at the time. In fact, it was 
so late in the summer that most of Peter's friends 
were through nesting and he had quite lost interest 
in nests. Presently Dandy flew down to a lower 
branch and there he was joined by Mrs. Waxwing. 
Then Peter was treated to one of the prettiest sights 
he ever had seen. They rubbed their bills together 
as if kissing. They smoothed each other's feathers 
and altogether were a perfect picture of two little 
lovebirds. Peter couldn't think of another couple 
who appeared quite so gentle and loving. 

Late in the fall Peter saw Mr. and Mrs. Waxwing 
and their family together. They were in a cedar 
tree and were picking off and eating the cedar- 
berries as busily as the five Waxwings had picked 
Farmer Brown's cherries in the early summer. 
Peter didn't know it but because of their fondness 
for cedar berries the Waxwings were often called 
Cedarbirds or Cedar Waxwings. 




ALL through the long summer Peter Rabbit 
watched his feathered friends and learned things 
in regard to their ways he never had suspected. 
As he saw them keeping the trees of the Old 
Orchard free of insect pests working in Farmer 
Brown's garden, and picking up the countless seeds 
of weeds everywhere, he began to understand some- 
thing of the wonderful part these feathered folks 
have in keeping the Great World beautiful and 
worth while living in. 

He had many a hearty laugh as he watched the 
bird babies learn to fly and to find their own food. 
All summer long they were going to school all about 
him, learning how to watch out for danger, to use 
their eyes and ears, and all the things a bird must 
know who would live to grow up. 

As autumn drew near Peter discovered that his 
friends were gathering in flocks, roaming here and 
there. It was one of the first signs that summer 
was nearly over, and it gave him just a little feeling 
of sadness. He heard few songs now, for the sing- 
ing season was over. Also he discovered that many 

Farewells and Welcomes 

of the most beautifully dressed of his feathered 
friends had changed their finery for sober traveling 
suits in preparation for the long journey to the far 
South where they would spend the winter. In fact 
he actually failed to recognize some of them at first. 

September came, and as the days grew shorter, 
some of Peter's friends bade him good-by. They 
were starting on the long journey, planning to take 
it in easy stages for the most part. Each day saw 
some slip away. As Peter thought of the dangers 
of the long trip before them he wondered if he 
would ever see them again. But some there were 
who lingered even after Jack Frost's first visit. 
Welcome and Mrs. Robin, Winsome and Mrs. 
Bluebird, Little Friend the Song Sparrow and his 
wife were among these. By and by even they were 
forced to leave. 

Sad indeed and lonely would these days have 
been for Peter had it not been that with the de- 
parture of the friends he had spent so many happy 
hours with came the arrival of certain other friends 
from the Far North where they had made their 
summer homes. Some of these stopped for a few 
days in passing. Others came to stay, and Peter 
was kept busy looking for and welcoming them. 
A few old friends there were who would stay the 
year through. Sammy Jay was one. Downy and 
Hairy the Woodpeckers were others. And one 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

there was whom Peter loves dearly. It was 
Tommy Tit the Chickadee. 

Now Tommy Tit had not gone north in the 
spring. In fact, he had made his home not very 
far from the Old Orchard. It just happened that 
Peter hadn't found that home, and had caught only 
one or two glimpses of Tommy Tit. Now, with 
household cares ended and his good-sized family 
properly started in life, Tommy Tit was no longer 
interested in the snug little home he had built in a 
hollow birch-stub, and he and Mrs. Chickadee spent 
their time flitting about hither, thither, and yon, 
spreading good cheer. Every time Peter visited 
the Old Orchard he found him there, and as Tommy 
was always ready for a bit of merry gossip, Peter 
soon ceased to miss Jenny Wren. 

"Don't you dread the winter, Tommy Tit?" 
asked Peter one day, as he watched Tommy cling- 
ing head down to a twig as he picked some tiny 
insect eggs from the under side. 

"Not a bit," replied Tommy. "I like winter. 
I like cold weather. It makes a fellow feel good 
from the tips of his claws to the tip of his bill. 
I'm thankful I don't have to take that long journey 
most of the birds have to. I discovered a secret a 
long time ago, Peter ; shall I tell it to you ?" 

"Please, Tommy," cried Peter. "You know 
how I love secrets." 


Farewells and Welcomes 

"Well," replied Tommy Tit, "this is it: If a 
fellow keeps his stomach filled he will keep his toes 

Peter looked a little puzzled. "I I don't 
just see what your stomach has to do with your 
toes," said he. 

Tommy Tit chuckled. It was a lovely throaty 
little chuckle. "Dee, dee, dee !" said he. "What 
I mean is, if a fellow has plenty to eat he will keep 
the cold out, and I've found that if a fellow uses his 
eyes and isn't afraid of a little work, he can find 
plenty to eat. At least I can. The only time I 
ever get really worried is when the trees are covered 
with ice. If it were not that Farmer Brown's boy 
is thoughtful enough to hang a piece of suet in a 
tree for me, I should dread those ice storms more 
than I do. As I said before, plenty of food keeps 
a fellow warm." 

"I thought it was your coat of feathers that kept 
you warm," said Peter. 

"Oh, the feathers help," replied Tommy Tit. 
"Food makes heat and a warm coat keeps the heat 
in the body. But the heat has got to be there 
first, or the feathers will do no good. It's just the 
same way with your own self, Peter. You know 
you are never really warm in winter unless you 
have plenty to eat." 

"That's so," replied Peter thoughtfully. "I 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

never happened to think of it before. Just the 
same, I don't see how you find food enough on the 
trees when they are all bare in winter." 

"Dee, dee, Chickadee! 
Leave that matter just to me," 

chuckled Tommy Tit. "You ought to know by 
this time, Peter Rabbit, that a lot of different kinds 
of bugs lay eggs on the twigs and trunks of trees. 
Those eggs would stay there all winter and in the 
spring hatch out into lice and worms if it were not 
for me. Why, sometimes in a single day I find and 
eat almost five hundred eggs of those little green 
plant lice that do so much damage in the spring 
and summer. Then there are little worms that 
bore in just under the bark, and there are other 
creatures who sleep the winter away in little cracks 
in the bark. Oh, there is plenty for me to do in the 
winter. I am one of the policemen of the trees. 
Downy and Hairy the Woodpeckers, Seep-Seep the 
Brown Creeper and Yank- Yank the Nuthatch are 
others. If we didn't stay right here on the job all 
winter, I don't know what would become of the Old 

Tommy Tit hung head downward from a twig 

while he picked some tiny insect eggs from the 

under side of it. It didn't seem to make the least 

difference to Tommy whether he was right side up 


TOMMY TIT THE CHICKADEE. Tommy will intioduce himself. 


visitor who goes down a tree head first. 

Farewells and Welcomes 

or upside down. He was a little animated bunch 
of black and white feathers, not much bigger than 
Jenny Wren. The top of his head, back of his 
neck and coat were shining black. The sides of 
his head and neck were white. His back was ashy. 
His sides were a soft cream-buff, and his wing and 
tail feathers were edged with white. His tiny bill 
was black, and his little black eyes snapped and 
twinkled in a way good to see. Not one among 
all Peter's friends is such a merry-hearted little 
fellow as Tommy Tit the Chickadee. Merriment 
and happiness bubble out of him all the time, no 
matter what the weather is. He is the friend of 
everyone and seems to feel that everyone is his 

"I've noticed," said Peter, "that birds who do 
not sing at any other time of year sing in the 
spring. Do you have a spring song, Tommy 

"Well, I don't know as you would call it a song, 
Peter," chuckled Tommy. "No, I hardly think 
you would call it a song. But I have a little 
love call then which goes like this : Phoe-be ! 
Phoe-be !" 

It was the softest, sweetest little whistle, and 

Tommy had rightly called it a love call. "Why, 

I've often heard that in the spring and didn't 

know it was your voice at all," cried Peter. "You 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

say Phoebe plainer than does the bird who is named 
Phoebe, and it is ever so much softer and sweeter. 
I guess that is because you whistle it." 

"I guess you guess right," replied Tommy Tit. 
"Now I can't stop to talk any longer. These 
trees need my attention. I want Farmer Brown's 
boy to feel that I have earned that suet I am sure 
he will put out for me as soon as the snow and ice 
come. I'm not the least bit afraid of Farmer 
Brown's boy. I had just as soon take food from 
his hand as from anywhere else. He knows I like 
chopped-up nut-meats, and last winter I used to 
feed from his hand every day." 

Peter's eyes opened very wide with surprise. 
"Do you mean to say," said he, "that you and 
Farmer Brown's boy are such friends that you dare 
sit on his hand?" 

Tommy Tit nodded his little black-capped head 
vigorously. "Certainly," said he. "Why not? 
What's the good of having friends if you can't trust 
them ? The more you trust them the better friends 
they'll be." 

?' "Just the same, I don't see how you dare do it," 
Peter replied. " I know Farmer Brown's boy is the 
friend of all the little people, and I'm not much 
afraid of him myself, but just the same I wouldn't 
dare go near enough for him to touch me." 

"Pooh!" retorted Tommy Tit. "That's no 

Farewells and Welcomes 

way of showing true friendship. You've no idea, 
Peter, what a comfortable feeling it is to know that 
you can trust a friend, and I feel that Farmer 
Brown's boy is one of the best friends I've got. 
I wish more boys and girls were like him." 




THE leaves of the trees turned yellow and red 
and brown and then began to drop, a few at first, 
then more and more every day until all but the 
spruce-trees and the pine-trees and the hemlock- 
trees and the fir-trees and the cedar-trees were 
bare. By this time most of Peter's feathered 
friends of the summer had departed, and there were 
days when Peter had oh, such a lonely feeling. 
The fur of his coat was growing thicker. The 
grass of the Green Meadows had turned brown. 
All these things were signs which Peter knew well. 
He knew that rough Brother North Wind and Jack 
Frost were on their way down from the Far North. 

Peter had few friends to visit now. Johnny 
Chuck had gone to sleep for the winter 'way down 
in his little bedroom under ground. Grandfather 
Frog had also gone to sleep. So had Old Mr. Toad. 
Peter spent a great deal of time in the dear Old 
Briar-patch just sitting still and listening. What 
he was listening for he didn't know. It just seemed 
to him that there was something he ought to hear 

Honker and Dippy Arrive 

at this time of year, and so he sat listening and listen- 
ing and wondering what he was listening for. Then, 
late one afternoon, there came floating down to 
him from high up in the sky, faintly at first but 
growing louder, a sound unlike any Peter had heard 
all the long summer through. The sound was a 
voice. Rather it was many voices mingled 
"Honk, honk, honk, k'honk, honk, honk, k'honk !" 
Peter gave a little jump. 

"That's what I've been listening for !" he cried. 
"Honker the Goose and his friends are coming. 
Oh, I do hope they will stop where I can pay them 
a call." 

He hopped out to the edge of the dear Old Briar- 
patch that he might see better, and looked up in 
the sky. High up, flying in the shape of a letter V, 
he saw a flock of great birds flying steadily from 
the direction of the Far North. By the sound of 
their voices he knew that they had flown far that 
day and were tired. One bird was in the lead and 
this he knew to be his old friend, Honker. Straight 
over his head they passed and as Peter listened to 
their voices he felt within him the very spirit of the 
Far North, that great, wild, lonely land which he 
had never seen but of which he had so often heard. 

As Peter watched, Honker suddenly turned and 
headed in the direction of the Big River. Then he 
began to slant down, his flock following him. And 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

presently they disappeared behind the trees along 
the bank of the Great River. Peter gave a happy 
little sigh. "They are going to spend the night 
there," thought he. "When the moon comes up, 
I will run over there, for they will come ashore and 
I know just where. Now that they have arrived 
I know that winter is not far away. Honker's 
voice is as sure a sign of the coming of winter as is 
Winsome Bluebird's that spring will soon be here." 

Peter could hardly wait for the coming of the 
Black Shadows, and just as soon as they had crept 
out over the Green Meadows he started for the 
Big River. He knew just where to go, because he 
knew that Honker and his friends would rest and 
spend the night in the same place they had stopped 
at the year before. He knew that they would re- 
main out in the middle of the Big River until the 
Black Shadows had made it quite safe for them 
to swim in. He reached the bank of the Big River 
just as sweet Mistress Moon was beginning to 
throw her silvery light over the Great World. 
There was a sandy bar in the Great River at this 
point, and Peter squatted on the bank just where 
this sandy bar began. 

It seemed to Peter that he had sat there half the 

night, but really it was only a short time, before 

he heard a low signal out in the Black Shadows 

which covered the middle of the Big River. It was 

[286] ; 

Honker and Dippy Arrive 

the voice of Honker. Then Peter saw little silvery 
lines moving on the water and presently a dozen 
great shapes appeared in the moonlight. Honker 
and his friends were swimming in. The long neck 
of each of those great birds was stretched to its 
full height, and Peter knew that each bird was 
listening for the slightest suspicious sound. Slowly 
they drew near, Honker in the lead. They were 
a picture of perfect caution. When they reached 
the sandy bar they remained quiet, looking and 
listening for some time. Then, sure that all was 
safe, Honker gave a low signal and at once a low 
gabbling began as the big birds relaxed their 
watchfulness and came out on the sandy bar, all 
save one. That one was the guard, and he re- 
mained with neck erect on watch. Some swam in 
among the rushes growing in the water very near to 
where Peter was sitting and began to feed. Others 
sat on the sandy bar and dressed their feathers. 
Honker himself came ashore close to where Peter 
was sitting. 

"Oh, Honker," cried Peter, "I'm so glad you're 
back here safe and sound." 

Honker gave a little start, but instantly recogniz- 
ing Peter, came over close to him. As he stood 
there in the moonlight he was truly handsome. 
His throat and a large patch on each side of his 
head were white. The rest of his head and long, 
[ 287 1 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

slim neck were black. His short tail was also black. 
His back, wings, breast and sides were a soft gray- 
ish-brown. He was white around the base of his 
tail and he wore a white collar. 

"Hello, Peter," said he. "It is good to have an 
old friend greet me. I certainly am glad to be 
back safe and sound, for the hunters with terrible 
guns have been at almost every one of our resting 
places, and it has been hard work to get enough 
to eat. It is a relief to find one place where there 
are no terrible guns." 

"Have you come far ?" asked Peter. 

"Very far, Peter; very far," replied Honker. 
"And we still have very far to go. I shall be thank- 
ful when the journey is over, for on me depends 
the safety of all those with me, and it is a great 

"Will winter soon be here ?" asked Peter eagerly. 

"Rough Brother North Wind and Jack Frost 
are right behind us," replied Honker. "You know 
we stay in the Far North just as long as we can. 
Already the place where we nested is frozen and 
covered with snow. For the first part of the 
journey we kept only just ahead of the snow and 
ice, but as we drew near to where men make their 
homes we were forced to make longer journeys 
each day, for the places where it is safe to feed and 
rest are few and far between. Now we shall hurry 

Honker and Dippy Arrive 

on until we reach the place in the far-away South 
where we will make our winter home." 

Just then Honker was interrupted by wild, 
strange sounds from the middle of the Great River. 
It sounded like crazy laughter. Peter jumped at 
the sound, but Honker merely chuckled. "It's 
Dippy the Loon," said he. " He spent the summer 
in the Far North not far from us. He started 
south just before we did." 

"I wish he would come in here so that I can get 
a good look at him and make his acquaintance," 
said Peter. 

" He may, but I doubt it," replied Honker. " He 
and his mate are great people to keep by themselves. 
Then, too, they don't have to come ashore for food. 
You know Dippy feeds altogether on fish. He 
really has an easier time on the long journey than 
we do, because he can get his food without running 
so much risk of being shot by the terrible hunters. 
He practically lives on the water. He's about the 
most awkward fellow on land of any one I know." 

"Why should he be any more awkward on land 
then you?" asked Peter, his curiosity aroused at 

"Because," replied Honker, "Old Mother 

Nature has given him very short legs and has 

placed them so far back on his body that he can't 

keep his balance to walk, and has to use his wingg 


The Burgess Bird Boole for Children 

and bill to help him over the ground. On shore he 
is about the most helpless thing you can imagine. 
But on water he is another fellow altogether. 
He's just as much at home under water as on top. 
My, how that fellow can dive ! When he sees the 
flash of a gun he will get under water before the 
shot can reach him. That's where he has the 
advantage of us Geese. You know we can't dive. 
He could swim clear across this river under water 
if he wanted to, and he can go so fast under water 
that he can catch a fish. It is because his legs have 
been placed so far back that he can swim so fast. 
You know his feet are nothing but big paddles. 
Another funny thing is that he can sink right down 
in the water when he wants to, with nothing but his 
head out. I envy him that. It would be a lot 
easier for us Geese to escape the dreadful hunters if 
we could sink down that way." 

"Has he a bill like yours?" asked Peter in- 

" Of course not," replied Honker. "Didn't I tell 
you that he lives on fish ? How do you suppose he 
would hold on to his slippery fish if he had a broad 
bill like mine ? His bill is stout, straight and sharp 
pointed. He is rather a handsome fellow. He is 
pretty nearly as big as I am, and his back, wings, 
tail and neck are black with bluish or greenish ap- 
pearance in the sun. His back and wings are 

Honker and Dippy Arrive 

spotted with white, and there are streaks of white 
on his throat and the sides of his neck. On his 
breast and below he is all white. You certainly 
ought to get acquainted with Dippy, Peter, for 
there isn't anybody quite like him." 

"I'd like to," replied Peter. "But if he never 
comes to shore, how can I ? I guess I will have to 
be content to know him just by his voice. I 
certainly never will forget that. It's about as 
crazy sounding as the voice of Old Man Coyote, 
and that is saying a great deal." 

"There's one thing I forgot to tell you," said 
Honker. " Dippy can't fly from the land ; he must 
be on the water in order to get up in the air." 

"You can, can't you ?" asked Peter. 

"Of course I can," replied Honker. "Why, we 
Geese get a lot of our food on land. When it is 
safe to do so we visit the grain fields and pick up 
the grain that has been shaken out during harvest. 
Of course we couldn't do that if we couldn't fly 
from the land. We can rise from either land or 
water equally well. Now if you'll excuse me, 
Peter, I'll take a nap. My, but I'm tired ! And 
I've got a long journey to-morrow." 

So Peter politely bade Honker and his relatives 
good-night and left them in peace on the sandy bar 
in the Big River. 




ROUGH Brother North Wind and Jack Frost 
were not far behind Honker the Goose. In a night 
Peter Rabbit's world was transformed. It had 
become a new world, a world of pure white. The 
last laggard among Peter's feathered friends who 
spend the winter in the far-away South had hurried 
away. Still Peter was not lonely. Tommy Tit's 
cheery voice greeted Peter the very first thing that 
morning after the storm. Tommy seemed to be in 
just as good spirits as ever he had been in summer. 

Now Peter rather likes the snow. He likes to 
run about in it, and so he followed Tommy Tit up 
to the Old Orchard. He felt sure that he would 
find company there besides Tommy Tit, and he was 
not disappointed. Downy and Hairy the Wood- 
peckers were getting their breakfast from a piece 
of suet Farmer Brown's boy had thoughtfully 
fastened in one of the apple-trees for them. 
Sammy Jay was there also, and his blue coat never 
had looked better than it did against the pure white 
of the snow. 


Peter Discovers Two Old Friends 

These were the only ones Peter really had ex- 
pected to find in the Old Orchard, and so you can 
guess how pleased he was as he hopped over the old 
stone wall to hear the voice of one whom he had 
almost forgotten. It was the voice of Yank- Yank 
the Nuthatch, and while it was far from being 
sweet there was in it something of good cheer and 
contentment. At once Peter hurried in the direc- 
tion from which it came. 

On the trunk of an apple-tree he caught sight of a 
gray and black and white bird about the size of 
Downy the Woodpecker. The top of his head and 
upper part of his back were shining black. The 
rest of his back was bluish-gray. The sides of his 
head and his breast were white. The outer feath- 
ers of his tail were black with white patches near 
their tips. 

But Peter didn't need to see how Yank- Yank was 
dressed in order to recognize him. Peter would 
have known him if he had been so far away that 
the colors of his coat did not show at all. You see, 
Yank-Yank was doing a most surprising thing, 
something no other bird can do. He was walking 
head first down the trunk of that tree, picking tiny 
eggs of insects from the bark and seemingly quite as 
much at home and quite as unconcerned in that 
queer position as if he were right side up. 

As Peter approached, Yank- Yank lifted his head 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

and called a greeting which sounded very much 
like the repetition of his own name. Then he 
turned around and began to climb the tree as easily 
as he had come down it. 

"Welcome home, Yank- Yank!" cried Peter, 
hurrying up quite out of breath. 

Yank- Yank turned around so that he was once 
more head down, and his eyes twinkled as he looked 
down at Peter. "You're mistaken, Peter," said 
he. "This isn't home. I've simply come down 
here for the winter. You know home is where you 
raise your children, and my home is in the Great 
Woods farther north. There is too much ice and 
snow up there, so I have come down here to spend 
the winter." 

"Well, anyway, it's a kind of home; it's your 
winter home," protested Peter, "and I certainly 
am glad to see you back. The Old Orchard 
wouldn't be quite the same without you. Did you 
have a pleasant summer? And if you please, 
Yank-Yank, tell me where you built your home and 
what it was like." 

"Yes, Mr. Curiosity, I had a very pleasant sum- 
mer," replied Yank-Yank. "Mrs. Yank-Yank 
and I raised a family of six and that is doing a lot 
better than some folks I know, if I do say it. As 
to our nest, it was made of leaves and feathers and 
it was in a hole in a certain old stump that not a 

Peter Discovers Two Old Friends 

soul knows of but Mrs. Yank- Yank and myself. 
Now is there anything else you want to know ?" 

"Yes," retorted Peter promptly. "I want to 
know how it is that you can walk head first down 
the trunk of a tree without losing your balance 
and tumbling off." 

Yank- Yank chuckled happily. "I discovered a 
long time ago, Peter," said he, "that the people 
who get on best in this world are those who make 
the most of what they have and waste no time 
wishing they could have what other people have. 
I suppose you have noticed that all the Woodpecker 
family have stiff tail feathers and use them to brace 
themselves when they are climbing a tree. They 
have become so dependent on them that they don't 
dare move about on the trunk of a tree without 
using them. If they want to come down a tree 
they have to back down. 

"Now Old Mother Nature didn't give me stiff 
tail feathers, but she gave me a very good pair of 
feet with three toes in front and one behind and 
when I was a very little fellow I learned to make 
the most of those feet. Each toe has a sharp claw. 
When I go up a tree the three front claws on 
each foot hook into the bark. When I come down 
a tree I simply twist one foot around so that I can 
use the claws of this foot to keep me from falling. 
It is just as easy for me to go down a tree as it is to 
f 85] 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

go up, and I can go right around the trunk just as 
easily and comfortably." Suiting action to the 
word, Yank- Yank ran around the trunk of the 
apple-tree just above Peter's head. When he 
reappeared Peter had another question ready. 

"Do you live altogether on grubs and worms 
and insects and their eggs ?" he asked. 

"I should say not!" exclaimed Yank- Yank. 
"I like acorns and beechnuts and certain kinds of 

"I don't see how such a little fellow as you can 
eat such hard things as acorns and beechnuts," 
protested Peter a little doubtfully. 

Yank- Yank laughed right out. "Sometime 
when I see you over in the Green Forest I'll show 
you," said he. " When I find a fat beechnut I take 
it to a little crack in a tree that will just hold it ; 
then with this stout bill of mine I crack the shell. 
It really is quite easy when you know how. Crack- 
ing a nut open that way is sometimes called hatch- 
ing, and that is how I come by the name of Nut- 
hatch. Hello ! There's Seep-Seep. I haven't seen 
him since we were together up North. His home 
was not far from mine." 

As Yank- Yank spoke, a little brown bird alighted 

at the very foot of the next tree. He was just a 

trifle bigger than Jenny Wren but not at all like 

Jenny, for while Jenny's tail usually is cocked up 


Peter Discovers Two Old Friends 

in the sauciest way, Seep-Seep's tail is never cocked 
up at all. In fact, it bends down, for Seep-Seep 
uses his tail just as the members of the Woodpecker 
family use theirs. He was dressed in grayish-brown 
above and grayish-white beneath. Across each 
wing was a little band of buffy-white, and his bill 
was curved just a little. 

Seep-Seep didn't stop an instant but started up 
the trunk of that tree, going round and round it as 
he climbed, and picking out things to eat from 
under the bark. His way of climbing that tree was 
very like creeping, and Peter thought to himself 
that Seep-Seep was well named the Brown Creeper. 
He knew it was quite useless to try to get Seep-Seep 
to talk. He knew that Seep-Seep wouldn't waste 
any time that way. 

Round and round up the trunk of the tree he 
went, and when he reached the top at once flew 
down to the bottom of the next tree and without a 
pause started up that. He wasted no time ex- 
ploring the branches, but stuck to the trunk. 
Once in a while he would cry in a thin little voice, 
"Seep! Seep!" but never paused to rest or look 
around. If he had felt that on him alone depended 
the job of getting all the insect eggs and grubs on 
those trees he could not have been more industrious. 

"Does he build his nest in a hole in a tree?" 
asked Peter of Yank-Yank. 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

Yank- Yank shook his head. "No," he replied. 
"He hunts for a tree or stub with a piece of loose 
bark hanging to it. In behind this he tucks his 
nest made of twigs, strips of bark and moss. He's 
a funny little fellow and I don't know of any one in 
all the great world who more strictly attends to 
his own business than does Seep-Seep the Brown 
Creeper. By the way, Peter, have you seen any- 
thing of Dotty the Tree Sparrow ?" 

"Not yet," replied Peter, "but I think he must 
be here. I'm glad you reminded me of him. I'll 
go look for him." 




HAVING been reminded of Dotty the Tree Spar- 
row, Peter Rabbit became possessed of a great 
desire to find this little friend of the cold months 
and learn how he had fared through the summer. 
He was at loss just where to look for Dotty until he 
remembered a certain weedy field along the edge 
of which the bushes had been left growing. "Per- 
haps I'll find him there," thought Peter, for he 
remembered that Dotty lives almost wholly on 
seeds, chiefly weed seeds, and that he dearly loves a 
weedy field with bushes not far distant in which he 
can hide. 

So Peter hurried over to the weedy field and 
there, sure enough, he found Dotty with a lot of his 
friends. They were very busy getting their break- 
fast. Some were clinging to the weed-stalks> 
picking the seeds out of the tops, while others were 
picking up the seeds from the ground. It was 
cold. Rough Brother North Wind was doing his 
best to blow up another snow-cloud. It wasn't 
at all the kind of day in which one would expect 
to find anybody in high spirits. But Dotty was. 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

He was even singing as Peter came up, and all 
about Dotty's friends and relatives were twittering 
as happily and merrily as if it were the beginning 
of spring instead of winter. 

Dotty was very nearly the size of Little Friend 
the Song Sparrow and looked somewhat like him, 
save that his breast was clear ashy-gray, all but 
a little dark spot in the middle, the little dot from 
which he gets his name. He wore a chestnut cap, 
almost exactly like that of Chippy the Chipping 
Sparrow. It reminded Peter that Dotty is often 
called the Winter Chippy. 

" Welcome back, Dotty !" cried Peter. " It does 
my heart good to see you.' 

"Thank you, Peter," twittered Dotty happily. 
"In a way it is good to be back. Certainly it is 
good to know that an old friend is glad to see me." 

"Are you going to stay all winter, Dotty ?" asked 

" I hope so," replied Dotty. " I certainly shall if 
the snow does not get so deep that I cannot get 
enough to eat. Some of these weeds are so tall 
that it will take a lot of snow to cover them, and 
as long as the tops are above the snow I will have 
nothing to worry about. You know a lot of seeds 
remain in these tops all winter. But if the snow 
gets deep enough to cover these I shall have to 
move along farther south." 

Some Merry Seed-Eaters 

"Then I hope there won t be much snow," 
declared Peter very emphatically. "There are 
few enough folks about in winter at best, goodness 
knows, and I don't know of any one I enjoy having 
for a neighbor more than I do you." 

"Thank you again, Peter," cried Dotty, "and 
please let me return the compliment. I like cold 
weather. I like winter when there isn't too much 
ice and bad weather. I always feel good in cold 
weather. That is one reason I go north to nest." 

"Speaking of nests, do you build in a tree?" 
inquired Peter. 

"Usually on or near the ground," replied Dotty. 
' You know I am really a ground bird although I 
am called a Tree Sparrow. Most of us Sparrows 
spend our time on or near the ground." 

"I know," replied Peter. "Do you know I'm 
very fond of the Sparrow family. I just love your 
cousin Chippy, who nests in the Old Orchard every 
spring. I wish he would stay all winter. I really 
don't see why he doesn't. I should think he could 
if you can." 

Dotty laughed. It was a tinkling little laugh, 
good to hear. "Cousin Chippy would starve to 
death," he declared. "It is all a matter of food. 
You ought to know that by this time, Peter. 
Cousin Chippy lives chiefly on worms and bugs 
and I live almost wholly on seeds, and that is what 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

makes the difference. Cousin Chippy must go 
where he can get plenty to eat. I can get plenty 
here and so I stay." 

" Did you and your relatives come down from the 
Far North alone ?" asked Peter. 

"No," replied Dotty promptly. "Slaty the 
Junco and his relatives came along with us and we 
had a very merry party." 

Peter pricked up his ears. " Is Slaty here now ?" 
he asked eagerly. 

"Very much here," replied a voice right behind 
Peter's back. It was so unexpected that it made 
Peter jump. He turned to find Slaty himself 
chuckling merrily as he picked up seeds. He was 
very nearly the same size as Dotty but trimmer. 
In fact he was one of the trimmest, neatest appear- 
ing of all of Peter's friends. There was no mistak- 
ing Slaty the Junco for any other bird. His head, 
throat and breast were clear slate color. Under- 
neath he was white. His sides were grayish. His 
outer tail feathers were white. His bill was flesh 
color. It looked almost white. 

"Welcome ! Welcome !" cried Peter. "Are you 
here to stay all winter ?" 

"I certainly am," was Slaty's prompt response. 

"It will take pretty bad weather to drive me away 

from here. If the snow gets too deep I'll just go 

up to Farmer Brown's barnyard. I can always 


Some Merry Seed-Eaters 

pick up a meal there, for Farmer Brown's boy is a 
very good friend of mine. I know he won't let 
me starve, no matter what the weather is. I think 
it is going to snow some more. I like the snow. 
You know I am sometimes called the Snowbird." 

Peter nodded. "So I have heard," said he, 
"though I think that name really belongs to Snow- 
flake the Snow Bunting." 

"Quite right, Peter, quite right," replied Slaty. 
"I much prefer my own name of Junco. My, 
these seeds are good !" All the time he was busily 
picking up seeds so tiny that Peter didn't even see 

"If you like here so much why don't you stay all 
the year?" inquired Peter. 

"It gets too warm," replied Slaty promptly. 
"I hate hot weather. _Give me cold weather every 

"Do you mean to tell me that it is cold all sum- 
mer where you nest in the Far North ?" demanded 

"Not exactly cold," replied Slaty, "but a lot 
cooler than it is down here. I don't go as far north 
to nest as Snowflake does, but I go far enough 
to be fairly comfortable. I don't see how some 
folks can stand hot weather." 

"It is a good thing they can," interrupted 
Dotty. "If everybody liked the same things it 
[ 303 ] 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

wouldn't do at all. Just suppose all the birds ate 
nothing but seeds. There wouldn't be seeds enough 
to go around, and a lot of us would starve. Then, 
too, the worms and the bugs would eat up every- 
thing. So, take it all together, it is a mighty good 
thing that some birds live almost wholly on worms 
and bugs and such things, leaving the seeds to the 
rest of us. I guess Old Mother Nature knew what 
she was about when she gave us different tastes." 

Peter nodded his head in approval. "You can 
always trust Old Mother Nature to know what is 
best," said he sagely. "By the way, Slaty, what 
do you make your nest of and where do you put it ? " 

"My nest is usually made of grasses, moss and 
rootlets. Sometimes it is lined with fine grasses, 
and when I am lucky enough to find them I use 
long hairs. Often I put my nest on the ground, 
and never very far above it. I am like my friend 
Dotty in this respect. It always seems to me 
easier to hide a nest on the ground than anywhere 
else. There is nothing like having a nest well 
hidden. It takes sharp eyes to find my nest, I can 
tell you that, Peter Rabbit." 

Just then Dotty, who had been picking seeds out 
of the top of a weed, gave a cry of alarm and in- 
stantly there was a flit of many wings as Dotty 
and his relatives and Slaty sought the shelter of the 
bushes along the edge of the field. Peter sat up 

Some Merry Seed-Eaters 

very straight and looked this way and looked 
that way. At first he saw nothing suspicious. 
Then, crouching flat among the weeds, he got a 
glimpse of Black Pussy, the cat from Farmer 
Brown's house. She had been creeping up in the 
hope of catching one of those happy little seed- 
eaters. Peter stamped angrily. Then with long 
jumps he started for the dear Old Briar-patch, 
lipperty-lipperty-lip, for truth to tell, big as he was, 
he was a little afraid of Black Pussy. 




SLATY THE JUNCO had been quite right in thinking 
it was going to snow some more. Rough Brother 
North Wind hurried up one big cloud after another, 
and late that afternoon the white feathery flakes 
came drifting down out of the sky. Peter Rabbit 
sat tight in the dear Old Briar-patch. In fact Peter 
did no moving about that night, but remained 
squatting just inside the entrance to an old hole 
Johnny Chuck's grandfather had dug long ago in the 
middle of the dear Old Briar-patch. Some time 
before morning the snow stopped falling and then 
rough Brother North Wind worked as hard to blow 
away the clouds as he had done to bring them. 

When jolly, round, bright Mr. Sun began his 
daily climb up in the blue, blue sky he looked down 
on a world of white. It seemed as if every little 
snowflake twinkled back at every little sunbeam. 
It was all very lovely, and Peter Rabbit rejoiced as 
he scampered forth in quest of his breakfast. 

He started first for the weedy field where the day 
before he had found Dotty the Tree Sparrow and 

M ore Friends Come With the Snow 

Slaty the Junco. They were there before him, 
having the very best time ever was as they picked 
seeds from the tops of the weeds which showed 
above the snow. Almost at once Peter discovered 
that they were not the only seekers for seeds. 
Walking about on the snow, and quite as busy seek- 
ing seeds as were Dotty and Slaty, was a bird very 
near their size the top of whose head, neck and 
back were a soft rusty-brown. There was some 
black on his wings, but the latter were mostly 
white and the outer tail feathers were white. His 
breast and under parts were white. It was Snow- 
flake the Snow Bunting in his winter suit. Peter 
knew him instantly. There was no mistaking him, 
for, as Peter well knew, there is no other bird of 
his size and shape who is so largely white. He had 
appeared so unexpectedly that it almost seemed as 
if he must have come out of the snow clouds just 
as had the snow itself. Peter had his usual ques- 
tion ready. 

"Are you going to spend the winter here, Snow- 
flake ?" he cried. 

Snowflake was so busy getting his breakfast that 
he did not reply at once. Peter noticed that he did 
not hop, but walked or ran. Presently he paused 
long enough to reply to Peter's question. "If the 
snow has come to stay all winter, perhaps I'll stay," 
said he. 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

"What has the snow to do with it?" demanded 

"Only that I like the snow and I like cold 
weather. When the snow begins to disappear, I 
just naturally fly back farther north," replied Snow- 
flake. "It isn't that I don't like bare ground, 
because I do, and I'm always glad when the snow 
is blown off in places so that I can hunt for seeds on 
the ground. But when the snow begins to melt 
everywhere I feel uneasy. I can't understand how 
folks can be contented where there is no snow and 
ice. You don't catch me going 'way down south. 
No, siree, you don't catch me going 'way down 
south. Why, when the nesting season comes 
around, I chase Jack Frost clear 'way up to where 
he spends the summer. I nest 'way up on the shore 
of the Polar Sea, but of course you don't know 
where that is, Peter Rabbit." 

"If you are so fond of the cold in the Far North, 
the snow and the ice, what did you come south at 
all for ? Why don't you stay up there all the year 
around ?" demanded Peter. 

"Because, Peter," replied Snowflake, twittering 
merrily, "like everybody else, I have to eat in order 
to live. When you see me down here you may 
know that the snows up north are so deep that they 
have covered all the seeds. I always keep a 
weather eye out, as the saying is, and the minute 


SNOWFLAKE THE SNOW BUNTING, the one small bird who is largely 

WANDERER THE HORNED LARK. His yellow throat and forehead and 
the two little tufts of feathers, like tiny horns, will always identity him. 

M ore Friends Come With the Snow 

it looks as if there would be too much snow for me 
to get a living, I move along. I hope I will not 
have to go any farther than this, but if some 
morning you wake up and find the snow so deep 
that all the heads of the weeds are buried, don't 
expect to find me." 

"That's what I call good, sound common sense," 
said another voice, and a bird a little bigger than 
Snowflake, and who at first glance seemed to be 
dressed almost wholly in soft chocolate brown, 
alighted in the snow close by and at once began to 
run about in search of seeds. It was Wanderer the 
Horned Lark. Peter hailed him joyously, for there 
was something of mystery about Wanderer, and 
Peter, as you know, loves mystery. 

Peter had known him ever since his first winter, 
yet did not feel really acquainted, for Wanderer 
seldom stayed long enough for a real acquaintance. 
Every winter he would come, sometimes two or three 
times, but seldom staying more than a few days at 
a time. Quite often he and his relatives appeared 
with the Snowflakes, for they are the best of friends 
and travel much together. 

Now as Wanderer reached up to pick seeds from 
a weed-top, Peter had a good look at him. The 
first things he noticed were the two little horn-like 
tufts of black feathers above and behind the eyes. 
It is from these that Wanderer gets the name of 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

Horned Lark. No other bird has anything quite 
like them. His forehead, a line over each eye, and 
his throat were yellow. There was a black mark 
from each corner of the bill curving downward just 
below the eye and almost joining a black crescent- 
shaped band across the breast. Beneath this he 
was soiled white with dusky spots showing here 
and there. His back was brown, in places having 
almost a pinkish tinge. His tail was black, showing 
a little white on the edges when he flew. All 
together he was a handsome little fellow. 

"Do all of your family have those funny little 
horns?" asked Peter. 

"No," was Wanderer's prompt reply. "Mrs. 
Lark does not have them." 

"I think they are very becoming," said Peter 

"Thank you," replied Wanderer. "I am in- 
clined to agree with you. You should see me when 
I have my summer suit. " 

"Is it so very different from this?" asked Peter. 
"I think your present suit is pretty enough. " 

"Well said, Peter, well said," interrupted 
Snowflake. "I quite agree with you. I think 
Wanderer's present suit is pretty enough for any 
one, but it is true that his summer suit is even 
prettier. It isn't so very different, but it is 
brighter, and those black markings are much 

More Friends Come With the Snow 

stronger and show up better. You see, Wanderer 
is one of my neighbors in the Far North, and I 
know all about him." 

"And that means that you don't know any- 
thing bad about me, doesn't it?" chuckled Wan- 

Snowflake nodded. "Not a thing," he replied. 
" I wouldn't ask for a better neighbor. You should 
hear him sing, Peter. He sings up in the air, and it 
really is a very pretty song. " 

"I'd just love to hear him," replied Peter. 
"Why don't you sing here, Wanderer?" 

"This isn't the singing season," replied Wan- 
derer promptly. "Besides, there isn't time to sing 
when one has to keep busy every minute in order 
to get enough to eat. " 

"I don't see," said Peter, "why, when you get 
here, you don't stay in one place. " 

"Because it is easier to get a good living by 
moving about," replied Wanderer promptly. "Be- 
sides, I like to visit new places. I shouldn't enjoy 
being tied down in just one place like some birds 
I know. Would you, Snowflake ? " 

Snowflake promptly replied that he wouldn't. 
Just then Peter discovered something that he 
hadn't known before. "My goodness," he ex- 
claimed, "what a long claw you have on each hind 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

It was true. Each hind claw was about twice as 
long as any other claw. Peter couldn't see any 
special use for it and he was just about to ask 
more about it when Wanderer suddenly spied a 
flock of his relatives some distance away and flew 
to join them. Probably this saved him some 
embarrassment, for it is doubtful if he himself 
knew why Old Mother Nature had given him such 
long hind claws. 




PETER RABBIT likes winter. At least he doesn't 
mind it so very much, even though he has to really 
work for a living. Perhaps it is a good thing that 
he does, for he might grow too fat to keep out of the 
way of Reddy Fox. You see when the snow is 
deep Peter is forced to eat whatever he can, and 
very often there isn't much of anything for him but 
the bark of young trees. It is at such times that 
Peter gets into mischief, for there is no bark he 
likes better than that of young fruit trees. Now 
you know what happens when the bark is taken off 
all the way around the trunk of a tree. That tree 
dies. It dies for the simple reason that it is up the 
inner layer of bark that the life-giving sap travels 
in the spring and summer. Of course, when a 
strip of bark has been taken off all the way around 
near the base of a tree, the sap cannot go up and 
the tree must die. 

Now up near the Old Orchard Farmer Brown had 

set out a young orchard. Peter knew all about 

that young orchard, for he had visited it many 

times in the summer. Then there had been plenty 


The Burgess Bird Boole for Children 

of sweet clover and other green things to eat, and 
Peter had never been so much as tempted to sample 
the bark of those young trees. But now things 
were very different, and it was very seldom that 
Peter knew what it was to have a full stomach. 
He kept thinking of that young orchard. He knew 
that if he were wise he would keep away from there. 
But the more he thought of it the more it seemed to 
him that he just must have some of that tender 
young bark. So just at dusk one evening, Peter 
started for the young orchard. 

Peter got there in safety and his eyes sparkled as 
he hopped over to the nearest young tree. But 
when he reached it, Peter had a dreadful disap- 
pointment. All around the trunk of that young 
tree was wire netting. Peter couldn't get even a 
nibble of that bark. He tried the next tree with 
no better result. Then he hurried on from tree to 
tree, always with the same result. You see Farmer 
Brown knew all about Peter's liking for the bark 
of young fruit trees, and he had been wise enough to 
protect his young orchard. 

At last Peter gave up and hopped over to the 
Old Orchard. As he passed a certain big tree he 
was startled by a voice. "What's the matter, 
Peter ?" said the voice. " You don't look happy. " 

Peter stopped short and stared up in the big 
apple-tree. Look as he would he couldn't see 

Peter Learns Something About Spooky 

anybody. Of course there wasn't a leaf on that 
tree, and he could see all through it. Peter blinked 
and felt foolish. He knew that had there been 
any one sitting on any one of those branches he 
couldn't have helped seeing him. 

"Don't look so high, Peter; don't look so high," 
said the voice with a chuckle. This time it sounded 
as if it came right out of the trunk of the tree. 
Peter stared at the trunk and then suddenly 
laughed right out. Just a few feet above the 
ground was a good sized hole in the tree, and poking 
his head out of it was a funny little fellow with big 
eyes and a hooked beak. 

"You certainly did fool me that time, Spooky," 
cried Peter. "I ought to have recognized your 
voice, but I didn't. " 

Spooky the Screech Owl, for that is who it was, 
came out of the hole in the tree and without a 
sound from his wings flew over and perched just 
above Peter's head. He was a little fellow, not over 
eight inches high, but there was no mistaking the 
family to which he belonged. In fact he looked 
very much like a small copy of Hooty the Great 
Horned Owl, so much so that Peter felt a little cold 
shiver run over him, although he had nothing in 
the world to fear from Spooky. 

His head seemed to be almost as big around as 
his body, and he seemed to have no neck at all. He 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

was dressed in bright reddish-brown, with little 
streaks and bars of black. Underneath he was 
whitish, with little streaks and bars of black and 
brown. On each side of his head was a tuft of 
feathers. They looked like ears and some people 
think they are ears, which is a mistake. His eyes 
were round and yellow with a fierce hungry look in 
them. His bill was small and almost hidden among 
the feathers of his face, but it was hooked just like the 
bill of Hooty. As he settled himself he turned his 
head around until he could look squarely behind 
him, then brought it back again so quickly that to 
Peter it looked as if it had gone clear around. You 
see Spooky's eyes are fixed in their sockets and he 
cannot move them from side to side. He has to 
turn his whole head in order to see to one side or the 

"You haven't told me yet why you look so un- 
happy, Peter, " said Spooky. 

"Isn't an empty stomach enough to make any 
fellow unhappy?" retorted Peter rather, shortly. 

Spooky chuckled. "I've got an empty stomach 
myself, Peter," said he, "but it isn't making me 
unhappy. I have a feeling that somewhere there 
is a fat Mouse waiting for me. " 

Just then Peter remembered what Jenny Wren 
had told him early in the spring of how Spooky 
the Screech Owl lives all the year around in a 


SPOOKY THE SCREECH OWL. The most common of all Owls, some- 
times reddish-brown and sometimes gray. 

Peter Learns Something About Spooky 

hollow tree, and curiosity made him forget for the 
time being that he was hungry. "Did you live in 
that hole all summer, Spooky ?" he asked. 

Spooky nodded solemnly. "I've lived in that 
hollow summer and winter for three years, " said he. 

Peter's eyes opened very wide. "And till now 
I never even guessed it, " he exclaimed. "Did you 
raise a family there ? " 

"I certainly did," replied Spooky. "Mrs. 
Spooky and I raised a family of four as fine looking 
youngsters as you ever have seen. They've gone 
out into the Great World to make their own living 
now. Two were dressed just like me and two were 

"What's that?" exclaimed Peter. 

"I said that two were dressed just like me and 
two were gray," replied Spooky rather sharply. 

"That's funny," Peter exclaimed. 

" What's funny ? "snapped Spooky rather crossly. 

"Why that all four were not dressed alike," 
said Peter. 

"There's nothing funny about it," retorted 
Spooky, and snapped his bill sharply with a little 
cracking sound. "We Screech Owls believe in 
variety. Some of us are gray and some of us are 
reddish-brown. It is a case of where you cannot 
tell a person just by the color of his clothes. " 

Peter nodded as if he quite understood, although 

'The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

he didn't understand at all. "I'm ever so pleased 
to find you living here," said he politely. "You 
see, in winter the Old Orchard is rather a lonely 
place. I don't see how you get enough to eat 
when there are so few birds about. " 

"Birds!" snapped Spooky. "What have birds 
to do with it?" 

"Why, don't you live on birds?" asked Peter 

"I should say not. I guess I would starve if I 
depended on birds for my daily food," retorted 
Spooky. "I catch a Sparrow now and then, to be 
sure, but usually it is an English Sparrow, and I 
consider that I am doing the Old Orchard a good 
turn every time I am lucky enough to catch one of 
the family of Bully the English Sparrow. But I 
live mostly on Mice and Shrews in winter and in 
summer I eat a lot of grasshoppers and other in- 
sects. If it wasn't for me and my relatives I guess 
Mice would soon overrun the Great World . Farmer 
Brown ought to be glad I've come to live in the 
Old Orchard and I guess he is, for Farmer Brown's 
boy knows all about this house of mine and never 
disturbs me. Now if you'll excuse me I think 
I'll fly over to Farmer Brown's young orchard. 
I ought to find a fat Mouse or two trying to get 
some of the bark from those young trees." 

"Huh!" exclaimed Peter. "They can try all 

Peter Learns Something About Spooky 

they want to, but they won't get any ; I can tell 
you that." 

Spooky 's round yellow eyes twinkled. "It 
must be you have been trying to get some of that 
bark yourself, " said he. 

Peter didn't say anything but he looked guilty, 
and Spooky once more chuckled as he spread his 
wings and flew away so soundlessly that he seemed 
more like a drifting shadow than a bird. Then 
Peter started for a certain swamp he knew of 
where he would be sure to find enough bark to stay 
his appetite. 




PETER RABBIT had gone over to the Green Forest 
to call on his cousin, Jumper the Hare, who lives 
there altogether. He had no difficulty in finding 
Jumper's tracks in the snow, and by following 
these he at length came up with Jumper. The fact 
is, Peter almost bumped into Jumper before he 
saw him, for Jumper was wearing a coat as white 
as the snow itself. Squatting under a little snow- 
covered hemlock-tree he looked like nothing more 
than a little mound of snow. 

"Oh!" cried Peter. "How you startled me! 
I wish I had a white coat like yours. It must be a 
great help in avoiding your enemies." 

"It certainly is, Cousin Peter," cried Jumper. 
" Nine times out of ten all I have to do is to sit 
perfectly still when there was no wind to carry 
my scent. I have had Reddy Fox pass within a 
few feet of me and never suspect that I was near. 
I hope this snow will last all winter. It is only 
when there isn't any snow that I am particularly 
worried. Then I am not easy for a minute, be- 

Queer Feet and a Queerer Bill 

cause my white coat can be seen a long distance 
against the brown of the dead leaves." 

Peter chuckled. "That is just when I feel 
safest," he replied. "I like the snow, but this 
brown-gray coat of mine certainly does show up 
against it. Don't you find it pretty lonesome over 
here in the Green Forest with all the birds gone, 
Cousin Jumper?" 

Jumper shook his head. "Not all have gone, 
Peter, you know," said he. "Strutter the Grouse 
and Mrs. Grouse are here, and I see them every 
day. They've got snowshoes now. " 

Peter blinked his eyes and looked rather per- 
plexed. "Snowshoes!" he exclaimed. "I don't 
understand what you mean. " 

"Come with me," replied Jumper, "and I'll 
show you." 

So Jumper led the way and Peter followed close 
at his heels. Presently they came to some tracks 
in the snow. At first glance they reminded Peter 
of the queer tracks Farmer Brown's ducks made in 
the mud on the edge of the Smiling Pool in summer. 
"What funny tracks those are!" he exclaimed. 
"Who made them?" 

"Just keep on following me and you'll see," 
retorted Jumper. 

So they continued to follow the tracks until 
presently, just ahead of them, they saw Strutter 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

the Grouse. Peter opened his eyes with surprise 
when he discovered that those queer tracks were 
made by Strutter. 

"Cousin Peter wants to see your snowshoes, 
Strutter," said Jumper as they came up with him. 

Strutter's bright eyes sparkled. "He's just as 
curious as ever, isn't he?" said he. "Well, I 
don't mind showing him my snowshoes because I 
think myself that they are really quite wonder- 
ful." He held up one foot with the toes spread 
apart and Peter saw that growing out from the 
sides of each toe were queer little horny points set 
close together. They quite filled the space be- 
tween his toes. Peter recalled that when he had 
seen Strutter in the summer those toes had been 
smooth and that his tracks on soft ground had 
shown the outline of each toe clearly. "How 
funny !" exclaimed Peter. 

"There's nothing funny about them," retorted 
Strutter. "If Old Mother Nature hadn't given 
me something of this kind I certainly would have a 
hard time of it when there is snow on the ground. 
If my feet were just the same as in summer I would 
sink right down in when the snow is soft and 
wouldn't be able to walk about at all. Now, with 
these snowshoes I get along very nicely. You see 
I sink in but very little. " 

He took three or four steps and Peter saw right 

Queer Feet and a Queerer Bill 

away how very useful those snowshoes were. 
"My!" he exclaimed. "I wish Old Mother 
Nature would give me snowshoes too." Strutter 
and Jumper both laughed and after a second Peter 
laughed with them, for he realized how impossible 
it would be for him to have anything like those 
snowshoes of Strutter's. 

"Cousin Peter was just saying that he should 
think I would find it lonesome over here in the 
Green Forest. He forgot that you and Mrs. 
Grouse stay all winter, and he forgot that while 
most of the birds who spent the summer here have 
left, there are others who come down from the Far 
North to take their place. " 

"Who, for instance?" demanded Peter. 

"Snipper the Crossbill," replied Jumper 
promptly. "I haven't seen him yet this winter, 
but I know he is here because only this morning I 
found some pine seeds on the snow under a certain 

" Huh ! " Peter exclaimed. "That doesn't prove 
anything. Those seeds might have just fallen, or 
Chatterer the Red Squirrel might have dropped 

"This isn't the season for seeds to just fall, and 
I know by the signs that Chatterer hasn't been 
about," retorted Jumper. "Let's go over there 
now and see what we will see. " 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

Once more he led the way and Peter followed. 
As they drew near that certain pine-tree, a short 
whistled note caused them to look up. Busily 
at work on a pine cone near the top of a tree was a 
bird about the size of Bully the English Sparrow. 
He was dressed wholly in dull red with brownish- 
black wings and tail. 

"What did I tell you ?" cried Jumper. "There's 
Snipper this very minute, and over in that next 
tree are a lot of his family and relatives. See in 
what a funny way they climb about among the 
branches. They don't flit or hop, but just climb 
around. I don't know of any other bird any- 
where around here that does that. " 

Just then a seed dropped and landed on the snow 
almost in front of Peter's nose. Almost at once 
Snipper himself followed it, picking it up and eat- 
ing it with as much unconcern as if Peter and 
Jumper were a mile away instead of only a foot or 
so. The very first thing Peter noticed was Snip- 
per's bill. The upper and lower halves crossed at 
the tips. That bill looked very much as if Snipper 
had struck something hard and twisted the tips over. 

"Have have you met with an accident ?" 
he asked a bit hesitatingly. 

Snipper looked surprised. "Are you talking to 
me ? " he asked. "Whatever put such an idea into 
your head?" 


Queer Feet and a Queerer Bill 

" Your bill, " replied Peter promptly. " How did 
it get twisted like that ? " 

Snipper laughed. "It isn't twisted," said he. 
"It is just the way Old Mother Nature made it, 
and I really don't know what I'd do if it were any 

Peter scratched one long ear, as is his way when 
he is puzzled. "I don't see," said he, "how it is 
possible for you to pick up food with a bill like 

"And I don't see how I would get my food if I 
didn't have a bill like this," retorted Snipper. 
Then, seeing how puzzled Peter really was, he went 
on to explain. "You see, I live very largely on 
the seeds that grow in pine cones and the cones of 
other trees. Of course I eat some other food, such 
as seeds and buds of trees. But what I love best 
of all are the seeds that grow in the cones of ever- 
green trees. If you've ever looked at one of those 
cones, you will understand that those seeds are not 
very easy to get at. But with this kind of a bill 
it is no trouble at all. I can snip them out just as 
easily as birds with straight bills can pick up 
seeds. You see my bill is very much like a pair 
of scissors." 

"It really is very wonderful," confessed Peter. 
"Do you mind telling me, Snipper, why I never 
have seen you here in summer ? " 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

"For the same reason that in summer you 
never see Snowflake and Wanderer the Horned 
Lark and some others I might name," replied 
Snipper. "Give me the Far North every time. 
I would stay there the year through but that 
sometimes food gets scarce up there. That is why 
I am down here now. If you'll excuse me, I'll go 
finish my breakfast. " 

Snipper flew up in the tree where the other 
Crossbills were at work and Peter and Jumper 
watched them. 

"I suppose you know," said Jumper, "that 
Snipper has a cousin who looks almost exactly 
like him with the exception of two white bars on 
each wing. He is called the White-winged Cross- 

"I didn't know it," replied Peter, "but I'm glad 
you've told me. I certainly shall watch out for 
him. I can't get over those funny bills. No one 
could ever mistake a Crossbill for any other bird. 
Is there anyone else now from the Far North whom 
I haven't seen?" 




JUMPER THE HARE didn't have time to reply to 
Peter Rabbit's question when Peter asked if there 
was any one else besides the Crossbills who had 
come down from the Far North. 

"I have," said a voice from a tree just back of 

It was so unexpected that it made both Peter 
and Jumper hop in startled surprise. Then they 
turned to see who had spoken. There sat a bird 
just a little smaller than Welcome Robin, who at 
first glance seemed to be dressed in strawberry-red. 
However, a closer look showed that there were 
slate-gray markings about his head, under his wings 
and on his legs. His tail was brown. His wings 
were brown, marked with black and white and 
slate. His bill was thick and rather short. 

"Who are you?" demanded Peter very bluntly 
and impolitely. 

"I'm Piny the Pine Grosbeak," replied the 
stranger, seemingly not at all put out by Peter's 


The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

"Oh," said Peter. "Are you related to Rose- 
breast the Grosbeak who nested last summer in the 
Old Orchard?" 

"I certainly am," replied Piny. "He is my 
very own cousin. I've never seen him because he 
never ventures up where I live and I don't go 
down where he spends the winter, but all members 
of the Grosbeak family are cousins. " 

"Rosebreast is very lovely and I'm very fond of 
him," said Peter. "We are very good friends." 

"Then I know we are going to be good friends," 
replied Piny. As he said this he turned and Peter 
noticed that his tail was distinctly forked instead 
of being square across like that of Welcome Robin. 
Piny whistled, and almost at once he was joined by 
another bird who in shape was just like him, but 
who was dressed in slaty-gray and olive-yellow, 
instead of the bright red that he himself wore. 
Piny introduced the newcomer as Mrs. Gros- 

"Lovely weather, isn't it?" said she. "I love 
the snow. I wouldn't feel at home with no snow 
about. Why, last spring I even built my nest 
before the snow was gone in the Far North. We 
certainly hated to leave up there, but food was get- 
ting so scarce that we had to. We have just ar- 
rived. Can you tell me if there are any cedar- 
trees or ash-trees or sumacs near here?" 

More Folks in Red 

Peter hastened to tell her just where she would 
find these trees and then rather timidly asked why 
she wanted to find them. 

"Because they hold their berries all winter," 
replied Mrs. Grosbeak promptly, "and those ber- 
ries make very good eating. I rather thought 
there must be some around here. If there are 
enough of them we certainly shall stay a while. " 

"I hope you will," replied Peter. "I want to 
get better acquainted with you. You know, if it 
were not for you folks who come down from the 
Far North the Green Forest would be rather a 
lonely place in winter. There are times when I 
like to be alone, but I like to feel that there is some- 
one I can call on when I feel lonesome. Did you 
and Piny come down alone?" 

"No, indeed," replied Mrs. Grosbeak. "There 
is a flock of our relatives not far away. We came 
down with the Crossbills. All together we made 
quite a party." 

Peter and Jumper stayed a while to gossip with 
the Grosbeaks. Then Peter bethought him that 
it was high time for him to return to the dear Old 
Briar-patch, and bidding his new friends good-by, 
he started off through the Green Forest, lipperty- 
lipperty-lip. When he reached the edge of the 
Green Forest he decided to run over to the weedy 
field to see if the Snowflakes and the Tree Sparrows 

The Burgess EM Book for Children 

and the Horned Larks were there. They were, 
but almost at once Peter discovered that they had 
company. Twittering cheerfully as he busily 
picked seeds out of the top of a weed which stood 
above the snow, was a bird very little bigger than 
Chicoree the Goldfinch. But when Peter looked 
at* him he just had to rub his eyes. 

"Gracious goodness !" he muttered, "it must be 
something is wrong with my eyes so that I am seeing 
red. I've already seen two birds dressed in red and 
now there's another. It certainly must be my eyes. 
There's Dotty the Tree Sparrow over there ; I hear 
his voice. I wonder if he will look red. " 

Peter hopped near enough to get a good look at 
Dotty and found him dressed just as he should be. 
That relieved Peter's mind. His eyes were quite 
as they should be. Then he returned to look at the 
happy little stranger still busily picking seeds from 
that weed-top. 

The top of his head was bright red. There was 
no doubt about it. 'His back was toward Peter at 
the time and but for that bright red cap Peter 
certainly would have taken him for one of his 
friends among the Sparrow family. You see his 
back was grayish -brown. Peter could think of 
several Sparrows with backs very much like it. 
But when he looked closely he saw that just above 
his tail this little stranger wore a pinkish patch, and 

More Folks in Red 

that was something no Sparrow of Peter's acquaint- 
ance possesses. 

\ Then the lively little stranger turned to face 
Peter and a pair of bright eyes twinkled mischiev- 
ously. "Well," said he, "how do you like my 
appearance? Anything wrong with me? I was 
taught that it is very impolite to stare at any one. 
I guess your mother forgot to teach you manners. " 

Peter paid no attention to what was said but 
continued to stare. "My, how pretty you are!" 
he exclaimed. 

The little stranger was pretty. His breast was 
pink. Below this he was white. The middle of his 
throat was black and his sides were streaked with 
reddish -brown. He looked pleased at Peter's 

"I'm glad you think I'm pretty," said he. "I 
like pink myself. I like it very much indeed. I 
suppose you've already seen my friends, Snipper 
the Crossbill and Piny the Grosbeak. " 

Peter promptly bobbed his head. "I've just 
come from making their acquaintance," said he. 
"By the way you speak, I presume you also are 
from the Far North. I am just beginning to learn 
that there are more folks who make their homes 
in the Far North than I had dreamed of. If you 
please, I don't believe I know you at all. " 

"I'm Redpoll," was the prompt response. "I 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

am called that because of my red cap. Yes, 
indeed, I make my home in the Far North. There 
is no place like it. You really ought to run up 
there and get acquainted with the folks who make 
their homes there and love it. " 

Redpoll laughed at his own joke, but Peter didn't 
see the joke at all. "Is it so very far?" he asked 
innocently; then added, "I'd dearly love to go." 

Redpoll laughed harder than ever. "Yes," said 
he, "it is. I am afraid you would be a very old 
and very gray Rabbit by the time you got there. 
I guess the next thing is for you to make the 
acquaintance of some of us who get down here once 
in a while." 

Redpoll called softly and almost at once was 
joined by another red-capped bird but without the 
pink breast, and with sides more heavily streaked. 
"This is Mrs. Redpoll," announced her lively little 
mate. Then he turned to her and added, "I've 
just been telling Peter Rabbit that as long as he 
cannot visit our beautiful Far North he must be- 
come acquainted with those of us who come down 
here in the winter. I'm sure he'll find us very 
friendly folks." 

"I'm sure I shall," said Peter. "If you please, 
do you live altogether on these weed seeds?" 

Redpoll laughed his usual happy laugh. " Hardly, 
Peter," replied he. "We like the seeds of the 

More Folks in Red 

birches and the alders, and we eat the seeds of the 
evergreen trees when we get them. Sometimes we 
find them in cones Snipper the Crossbill has opened 
but hasn't picked all the seeds out of. Sometimes 
he drops some for us. Oh, we always manage to get 
plenty to eat. There are some of our relatives over 
there and we must join them. We'll see you again, 

Peter said he hoped they would and then watched 
them fly over to join their friends. Suddenly, as if 
a signal had been given, all spread their wings at 
the same instant and flew up in a birch-tree not far 
away. All seemed to take wing at precisely the 
same instant. Up in the birch-tree they sat for a 
minute or so and then, just as if another signal had 
been given, all began to pick out the tiny seeds 
from the birch tassels. No one bird seemed to be 
first. It was quite like a drill, or as if each had 
thought of the same thing at the same instant. 
Peter chuckled over it all the way home. And 
somehow he felt better for having made the ac- 
quaintance of the Redpolls. It was the feeling 
that everybody so fortunate as to meet them on a 
cold winter's day is sure to have. 




WHILE it is true that Peter Rabbit likes winter, 
it is also true that life is anything but easy for him 
at that season. In the first place he has to travel 
about a great deal to get sufficient food, and that 
means that he must run more risks. There isn't 
a minute of day or night that he is outside of the 
dear Old Briar-patch when he can afford not to 
watch and listen for danger. You see, at this 
season of the year, Reddy Fox often finds it 
difficult to get a good meal. He is hungry most of 
the time, and he is forever hunting for Peter Rabbit. 
With snow on the ground and no leaves on the 
bushes and young trees, it is not easy for Peter to 
hide. So, as he travels about, the thought of Reddy 
Fox is always in his mind. 

But there are others whom Peter fears even more, 
and these wear feathers instead of fur coats . One of 
these is Terror the Goshawk. Peter is not alone 
in his fear of Terror. There is not one among his 
feathered friends who will not shiver at the mention 
of Terror's name. Peter will not soon forget the 

Peter Sees Two Terrible Feathered Hunters 

day he discovered that Terror had come down from 
the Far North, and was likely to stay for the rest 
of the winter. Peter went hungry all the rest of 
that day. 

You see it was this way: Peter had gone over 
to the Green Forest very early that morning in 
the hope of getting breakfast in a certain swamp. 
He was hopping along, lipperty-lipperty-lip, with 
his thoughts chiefly on that breakfast he hoped to 
get, but at the same time with ears and eyes alert 
for possible danger, when a strange feeling swept 
over him. It was a feeling that great danger 
was very near, though he saw nothing and heard 
nothing to indicate it. It was just a feeling, that 
was all. 

Now Peter has learned that the wise thing to do 
when one has such a feeling as that is to seek safety 
first and investigate afterwards. At the instant 
he felt that strange feeling of fear he was passing a 
certain big, hollow log. Without really knowing 
why he did it, because, you know, he didn't stop 
to do any thinking, he dived into that hollow log, 
and even as he did so there was the sharp swish of 
great wings. Terror the Goshawk had missed 
catching Peter by the fraction of a second. 

With his heart thumping as if it were trying to 
pound its way through his ribs, Peter peeped out of 
that hollow log. Terror had alighted on a tall 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

stump only a few feet away. To Peter in his fright 
he seemed the biggest bird he ever had seen. Of 
course he wasn't. Actually he was very near the 
same size as Redtail the Hawk, whom Peter knew 
well. He was handsome. There was no denying 
the fact that he was handsome. His back was 
bluish. His head seemed almost black. Over and 
behind each eye was a white line. Underneath he 
was beautifully marked with wavy bars of gray 
and white. On his tail were four dark bands. Yes, 
he was handsome. But Peter had no thought for 
his beauty. He could see nothing but the fierceness 
of the eyes that were fixed on the entrance to that 
hollow log. Peter shivered as if with a cold chill. 
He knew that in Terror was no pity or gentleness. 

"I hope," thought Peter, "that Mr. and Mrs. 
Grouse are nowhere about." You see he knew that 
there is no one that Terror would rather catch than 
a member of the Grouse family. 

Terror did not sit on that stump long. He knew 
that Peter was not likely to come out in a hurry. 
Presently he flew away, and Peter suspected from 
the direction in which he was headed that Terror 
was going over to visit Farmer -Brown's henyard. 
Of all the members of the Hawk family there is none 
more bold than Terror the Goshawk. He would 
not hesitate to seize a hen from almost beneath 
Farmer Brown's nose. He is well named, for 

Peter Sees Two Terrible Feathered Hunters 

the mere suspicion that he is anywhere about 
strikes terror to the heart of all the furred and 
feathered folks. He is so swift of wing that few 
can escape him, and he has no pity, but kills for the 
mere love of killing. In this respect he is like 
Shadow the Weasel. To kill for food is forgiven by 
the little people of the Green Forest and the Green 
Meadows, but to kill needlessly is unpardonable. 
This is why Terror the Goshawk is universally 
hated and has not a single friend. 

All that day Peter remained hidden in that 
hollow log. He did not dare put foot outside until 
the Black Shadows began to creep through the 
Green Forest. Then he knew that there was noth- 
ing more to fear from Terror the Goshawk, for 
he hunts only by day. Once more Peter's thoughts 
were chiefly of his stomach, for it was very, very 

But it was not intended that Peter should fill his 
stomach at once. He had gone but a little way 
when from just ahead of him the silence of the 
early evening was broken by a terrifying sound 
"Whooo-hoo-hoo, whooo-hoo !" It was so sudden 
and there was in it such a note of fierceness that 
Peter had all he could do to keep from jumping and 
running for dear life. But he knew that voice and 
he knew, too, that safety lay in keeping perfectly 
still. So with his heart thumping madly, as when 
F 337 1 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

he had escaped from Terror that morning, Peter 
sat as still as if he could not move. 

It was the hunting call of Hooty the Great 
Horned Owl, and it had been intended to frighten 
some one into jumping and running, or at least 
into moving ever so little. Peter knew all about 
that trick of Hooty's. He knew that in all the 
Green Forest there are no ears so wonderful as 
those of Hooty the Owl, and that the instant he had 
uttered that fierce hunting call he had strained 
those wonderful ears to catch the faintest sound 
which some startled little sleeper of the night might 
make. The rustle of a leaf would be enough to 
bring Hooty to the spot on his great silent wings, 
and then his fierce yellow eyes, which are made 
for seeing in the dusk, would find the victim. 

So Peter sat still, fearful that the very thumping 
of his heart might reach those wonderful ears. 
Again that terrible hunting cry rang out, and again 
Peter had all he could do to keep from jumping. 
But he didn't jump, and a few minutes later, as he 
sat staring at a certain tall, dead stub of a tree, 
wondering just where Hooty was, the top of that 
stub seemed to break off, and a great, broad-winged 
bird flew away soundlessly like a drifting shadow. 
It was Hooty himself. Sitting perfectly straight 
on the top of that tall, dead stub he had seemed 
a part of it. Peter waited some time before he 

Peter Sees Two Terrible Feathered Hunters 

ventured to move. Finally he heard Hooty's 
hunting call in a distant part of the Green Forest, 
and knew that it was safe for him to once more 
think of his empty stomach. 

Later in the winter while the snow still lay in the 
Green Forest, and the ice still bound the Laughing 
Brook, Peter made a surprising discovery. He 
was over in a certain lonely part of the Green 
Forest when he happened to remember that near 
there was an old nest which had once belonged to 
Redtail the Hawk. Out of idle curiosity Peter ran 
over for a look at that old nest. Imagine how 
surprised he was when just as he came within sight 
of it, he saw a great bird just settling down on it. 
Peter's heart jumped right up in his throat. At 
least that is the way it seemed, for he recognized 
Mrs. Hooty. 

Of course Peter stopped right where he was and 
took the greatest care not to move or make a sound. 
Presently Hooty himself appeared and perched in a 
tree near at hand. Peter has seen Hooty many 
times before, but always as a great, drifting shadow 
in the moonlight. Now he could see him clearly. 
As he sat bolt upright he seemed to be of the same 
height as Terror the Goshawk, but with a very 
much bigger body. If Peter had but known it, his 
appearance of great size was largely due to the 
fluffy feathers in which Hooty was clothed. Like 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

his small cousin, Spooky the Screech Owl, Hooty 
seemed to have no neck at all. He looked as if 
his great head was set directly on his shoulders. 
From each side of his head two great tufts of 
feathers stood out like ears or horns. His bill was 
sharply hooked. He was dressed wholly in red- 
dish-brown with little buff and black markings, 
and on his throat was a white patch. His legs 
were feathered, and so were his feet clear to the 
great hooked claws. 

But it was on the great, round, fierce, yellow eyes 
that Peter kept his own eyes. He had always 
thought of Hooty as being able to see only in the 
dusk of evening or on moonlight nights, but 
somehow he had a feeling that even now in broad 
daylight Hooty could see perfectly well, and he was 
quite right. 

For a long time Peter sat there without moving. 
He dared not do anything else. After he had 
recovered from his first fright he began to wonder 
what Hooty and Mrs. Hooty were doing at that old 
nest. His curiosity was aroused. He felt that he 
simply must find out. By and by Hooty flew 
away. Very carefully, so as not to attract the 
attention of Mrs. Hooty, Peter stole back the way 
he had come. When he was far enough away to 
feel reasonably safe, he scampered as fast as ever he 
could. He wanted to get away from that place, 

Peter Sees Two Terrible Feathered Hunters 

and he wanted to find some one of whom he could 
ask questions. 

Presently he met his cousin, Jumper the Hare, 
and at once in a most excited manner told him all he 
had seen. 

Jumper listened until Peter was through. "If 
you'll take my advice," said he, "you'll keep 
away from that part of the Green Forest, Cousin 
Peter. From what you tell me it is quite clear to 
me that the Hooties have begun nesting." 

"Nesting !" exclaimed Peter. "Nesting ! Why, 
gentle Mistress Spring will not get here for a month 
yet !" 

"I said nesting," retorted Jumper, speaking 
rather crossly, for you see he did not like to have 
his word doubted. "Hooty the Great Horned 
Owl doesn't wait for Mistress Spring. He and 
Mrs. Hooty believe in getting household cares out 
of the way early. Along about this time of year 
they hunt up an old nest of Redtail the Hawk or 
Blacky the Crow or Chatterer the Red Squirrel, 
for they do not take the trouble to build a nest 
themselves. Then Mrs. Hooty lays her eggs while 
there is still snow and ice. Why their youngsters 
don't catch their death from cold when they hatch 
out is more than I can say. But they don't. I'm 
sorry to hear that the Hooties have a nest here this 
year. It means a bad time for a lot of little folks 

The Burgess Bird Book for Children 

in feathers and fur. I certainly shall keep away 
from that part of the Green Forest, and I advise 
you to." 

, Peter said that he certainly should, and then 
started on for the dear Old Briar-patch to think 
things over. The discovery that already the 
nesting season of a new year had begun turned 
Peter's thoughts towards the coming of sweet 
Mistress Spring and the return of his many 
feathered friends who had left for the far-away 
South so long before. A great longing to hear 
the voices of Welcome Robin and Winsome Blue- 
bird and Little Friend the Song Sparrow swept 
over him, and a still greater longing for a bit of 
friendly gossip with Jenny Wren. In the past year 
he had learned much about his feathered neighbors, 
but there were still many things he wanted to know, 
things which only Jenny Wren could tell him. He 
was only just beginning to find out that no one 
knows all there is to know, especially about the 
birds. And no one ever will. 



Banker the Bank Swallow, 162-164 
Blackbird Family, 84-86 

Crow, 140-143 

Red- winged ; Redwing ; (Agelaius phoeniceus) 69-73 
Blacky the Crow, 121-122, 128-130 

Winsome Bluebird ; (Sialia sialis) 30-34 

Reedbird; Ricebird; Bubbling Bob; (Dolichonyx oryzi- 

vorus) 94-97 
Bob White 

Quail; Partridge; (Colinus virginianus) 98, 102-105 
Boomer the Nighthawk, 168-172 
Brownie the Thrasher, 222-225 
Bubbling Bob the Bobolink, 94-97 
Bully the English Sparrow, 8-13 

Snow; Snowbird; Snowflake; (Plectrophenax nivalis) 

Indigo-bird; Indigo; (Passerina cyanea) 242-244 
Butcher the Shrike, 261-264 


Cardinal Grosbeak; Red Bird; Glory; (Cardinalis cardi- 

nalis) 199-201 

Carol the Meadow Lark, 99-102 
Chebec the Least Flycatcher, 42-45, 84-85, 122-124 



Cherry Bird, 272-275 
Chewink the Towhee, 238-242 

Tommy Tit ; (Parus atricapillas) 278-283 
Chicoree the Goldfinch, 248-252 
Chippy the Chipping Sparrow, 23-27 
Chuck- will's- widow, 174 

Chut-Chut the Yellow-breasted Chat, 187-189 

Lazybird; Cow Blackbird; Sally Sly; (Molothrus ater) 

83-87, 179-180, 217-218 
Creaker the Grackle, 140-143 
Creeper the Black and White Warbler, 183-185 

Brown; Seep-Seep; (Certhia familiaris americana) 296- 


Cresty the Great Crested Flycatcher, 50-53, 56-58 

American Crossbill; Snipper; (Loxia curvirostra minor) 

White- winged ; (Loxia leucoptera) 326 

American; Blacky; (Corvus americanus) 121-122, 128- 


Yellow-billed; (Coccyzus americanus) 257-260 

Black-billed; (Coccyzus erythrophthalmus) 259 

Dandy the Waxwing, 272-275 

Dear Me the Phoebe, 38-42 

Dippy the Loon, 289-291 

Dotty the Tree Sparrow, 26-27, 298-302 


Mourning; Mourner; (Zenaidura macroura) 253-257 
Downy the Woodpecker, 77-79 




Bald-headed; White-headed; King Eagle; (Haliseetus 
leucocephalus) 147-150 

Fidget the Myrtle Warbler, 193-198 

Goldfinch; Wild Canary; Chicoree; (Spimis tristis) 


Purple Finch ; Linnet ; (Carpodacus purpureus) 246-249 

Golden- winged ; High-hole; Yellow-hammer; Golden- 
winged Woodpecker; Yellow Wing; (Colaptes aura- 
tus) 74-76, 80-81 

Great Crested ; Cresty ; (Myiarchus crinitus) 50-53, 56-58 
Kingbird; Bee Martin; Scrapper; (Tyrannus tyrannus) 

Least; Chebec; (Empidonax minimus) 42-45, 84-85, 


Phcebe; Dear Me; (Sayornis phcebe) 38-42 
Wood Pewee; Pewee; (Contopus virens) 54-56 
Forktail the Barn Swallow, 114-117 

Glory the Cardinal, 199-201 

American ; Wild Canary ; Thistle-bird ; Chicoree ; (Spinus 

tristis) 248-252 
Goldy the Oriole, 87-89 

Canada; Honker; (Branta canadensis) 285-291 

American; Terror; (Accipiter atricapillus) 334-337 

Purple; Crow Blackbird; Creaker; (Quiscalus quis- 
cula) 140-143 




Pine; Piny; (Pinicola enucleator) 327-329 
Rose-breasted; Rosebreast; (Habia ludoviciana) 206-208 


Ruffed; Partridge; Pheasant; Strutter; (Bonasa umbel- 
lus) 136-140, 321-323 

Hairy the Woodpecker, 79 

Red-tailed; Hen Hawk; Chicken Hawk; Redtail; (Buteo 
borealis) 134-135 

Sparrow; Killy; (Falco sparverius) 165-167 
Hermit the Hermit Thrush, 233 

Great Blue ; Blue Crane ; Longlegs ; (Ardea herodias) 152- 

156, 160 

Honker the Goose, 285-291 
Hooty the Great Horned Owl, 337-341 

Ruby-throated; Hummer; (Trochilus colubris) 265-268 

Indigo the Indigo Bunting, 242-244 


Blue; Sammy Jay; (Cyanocitta cristata) 123-127 
Jenny Wren, 2-19, 34-37, 60, 245-246 

Snowbird; Slaty; (Junco hyemalis) 302-304 

Killy the Sparrow Hawk, 165-167 
Kingbird, 46-50 
King Eagle, 147-150 

Belted; Rattles; (Ceryle alcyon) 151-158, 164 



Meadow Lark; Field Lark; Carol; (Stumella magna) 

Horned Lark ; Shore Lark ; Wanderer ; (Otocoris alpestris) 


Linnet the Purple Finch, 246-249 
Little Friend the Song Sparrow, 17-20 
Longbill the Woodcock, 62-65 
Longlegs the Heron, 152-156, 160 

Di PPy; (Urinator imber) 289-291 


Purple; Twitter; (Progne subis) 114 
Melody the Wood Thrush, 230-233 

Mocker; (Mimus poyg ottos) 225-228 
Mourner the Dove, 253-257 
Mummer the Maryland Yellow-throat, 185-189 


Bullbat; Boomer; (Chordeiles virginianus) 168-172 

White-breasted; Yank- Yank; (Sitta canadensis) 293-298 


Baltimore; Golden Robin; Fire Bird; Goldy; (Icterus 

galbula) 87-89 

Orchard; Weaver; (Icterus spurius) 90-92 

American; Fish Hawk; Plunger; (Pandion halieetus 

carolinensis) 144-149 
Oven Bird 

Golden-crowned Thrush ; Teacher ; (Seiurus aurocapillus) 




Great Horned; Hooty; (Bubo virginianus) 337-341 
Screech; Spooky; (Megascops asio) 314-319 

Pewee, 54-56 

Phoebe, 38-42 

Piny the Pine Grosbeak, 327-329 

Plunger the Osprey, 144-149 

Quail, 98, 102-105 

Rattles the Kingfisher, 151-158, 164 
Redcoat the Scarlet Tanager, 210-214 
Redeye the Vireo, 215-219 
Redhead the Woodpecker, 80-82 
Redpoll; (Acanthis linaria) 330-333 
Redstart, 176-178 
Redwing the Blackbird, 69-73 

American; Welcome Robin; (Merula migratoria) 30-37, 
Rosebreast the Grosbeak, 206-214 

Sally Sly the Cowbird, 83-87, 179-180, 217-218 

Spotted; Teeter; (Actitis macularia) 66-68 
Sammy Jay, 123-127 
Scrapper the Kingbird, 46-50 
Scratcher the Fox Sparrow, 20-21 
Seep-Seep the Brown Creeper, 296-298 

Loggerhead; Butcher; (Lanius ludovicianus) 261-264 

Northern; (Lanius borealis) 264 
Skimmer the Swallow, 106-110, 113-119 
Slaty the Junco, 302-304 



Snipper the Crossbill, 323-326 

Snowflake the Snow Bunting, 307-309 

Sooty the Chimney Swift, 108-112 


Chipping; Hair-bird; Chippy; (Spizella socialis) 23-27 
English; European; House; Bully; (Passer domesticus) 


Fox; Scratcher; (Passerella iliaca) 20-21 
Song; Little Friend; (Melospiza fasciata) 17-20 
Tree; Winter Chippy; Dotty; (Spizella monticola) 26- 

27, 298-302 
Vesper; Grass Finch; Sweetvoice;' (Poocsetes grami- 

neus) 27-29 

White-throated; Peabody-bird ; Whitethroat; (Zonotri- 
chia albicollis) 19-20 

Speckles the Starling, 269-272 

Spooky the Screech Owl, 314-319 

Sprite the Parula Warbler, 191-194 


English; Speckles; (Sturnus vulgaris) 269-272 

Strutter the Grouse, 136-140, 321-323 

Sunshine the Yellow Warbler, 178-182 


Bank; Banker; (Clivicola riparia) 162-164 
Barn; Forktail; (Chelidon erythrogaster) 114-117 
Tree; White-bellied; White-breasted; Skimmer; (Tachy- 
cineta bicolor) 106-110, 113-119 

Sweetvoice the Vesper Sparrow, 27-29 


Chimney; Chimney Swallow; Sooty; (Chsetura pelagica) 


Scarlet; Redcoat; (Piranga erythromelas) 210-214 
Teacher the Oven Bird, 130-133 



Teeter the Sandpiper, 66-68 

Brown ; Brown Thrush ; Brownie ; (Harporhynchus ruf us) 


Hermit; (Turdus aonalaschkse pallasii) 233 

Wilson's ; Tawny ; Veery ; (Turdus fuscescens) 234-236 

Wood; Melody; (Turdus mustelinus) 230-233 

Tommy Tit the Chickadee, 278-283 


Ground Robin ; Chewink ; (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) 238- 

Veery the Thrush, 234-236 


Red-eyed; Redeye; (Vireo olivaceus) 215-219 
Warbling; Warble; (Vireo gilvus) 219-220 
Yellow-throated; (Vireo flavifrons) 220-221 

Wanderer the Horned Lark, 309-312 
Warble the Vireo, 219-220 

Black and White; Black and White Creeper; Creeper; 

(Mniotilta varia) 183-185 

Magnolia; Weechi; (Dendroica maculosa) 193-198 
Myrtle; Fidget; (Dendroica coronata) 193-198 
Parula; Sprite; (Compsothlypis americana) 190-194 
Redstart; Zee-Zee; (Setophaga ruticilla) 176-178 
Yellow-breasted Chat; Chut-Chut; (Icteria virens) 187- 

Yellow-throat ; Maryland Yellow-throat ; Mummer ; (Geo- 

thlypis trichas) 185-189 

Yellow Warbler; Summer Yellow-bird; Sunshine; (Den- 
droica sestiva) 178-182 

[3501 i 



t Cedar; Cedarbird; Cherrybird; Dandy; (Ampelis cedr- 

rum) 272-275 

Weaver the Orchard Oriole, 90-92 
Weechi the Magnolia Warbler, 193-198 
Welcome Robin, 30-37 
Winsome Bluebird, 30-34 

Whip-poor-will ; (Antrostomus vociferus) 172-174 
Whitethroat the Sparrow, 19-20 

American ; Longbill ; (Philohela minor) 62-65 

Downy; (Dryobates pubescens) 77-79 

Hairy; (Dryobates villosus) 79 

Red-headed; Redhead; (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) 


House; Jenny Wren; (Troglodytes aedon) 2-19, 34-37, 
60, 245-246 

Yank- Yank the Nuthatch, 293-298 
Yellow Wing the Flicker, 74-76, 80-81 

Zee-Zee the Redstart, 176-178 


'Green Meadow Series" 



Author of "Mother West Wind Series," 
"The Bedtime Story-Books," etc. 

With eight illustrations in color by Harrison Cady 
Crown 8vo. $1.35 net. 

One of Mother Nature's thriftiest little people is 
Happy Jack Squirrel. He is a long-headed little 
chap who plays with might and main and has just 
the best time in the world, but he also works with 
might and main, especially when he is storing up 
his winter supplies and getting ready for the cold, 
bleak days when food is scarce and hard to find. 

Mr. Burgess is well acquainted with Happy Jack's 
thrifty habits, and tells all about them in his new 
book. Also he tells of the adventures that befell 
Happy Jack during one winter of his busy little life 
when his enemy the Weasel and his friends Tommy 
Tit the Chickadee, Sammy Jay, and Farmer 
Brown's boy all had a hand in Happy Jack's affairs. 


'Green Meadow Series 1 ' 



Author of "Mother West Wind Series," 
"The Bedtime Story-Books," etc. 

Eight illustrations in color by Harrison Cady 
Crown 8vo. $1.35 net. 

Peter. Rabbit 'grew very unhappy and lonesome 
in. his Old Briar-patch one spring day, and he de- 
cided to '. visit ' the Old Pasture in search of new 
friends and experiences. So off he went, lipperty- 
lipperty-lip. But up in the Old Pasture, trouble was 
waiting for Peter, for he found big, gray, old Jed 
Thumper, who tried to drive Peter home. Perhaps 
Peter would not have stayed, if he had not met 
Little Miss Fuzzytail, but he liked her so well that 
he would not leave until she had promised to go with 
him. Finally she agreed to become Mrs. Peter 
Rabbit, and off the two went, back to the Old 

Here Mrs. Peter set up housekeeping, and Mr. 
Burgess tells how she made Peter's old friends hers, 
and how she helped and advised him, and how they 
brought up their family of four cunning, furry, little 
baby rabbits. 




University of California 


405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1388 

Return this material to the library 

from which it was borrowed.